The much-anticipated football tournament in the world has come and gone, with many hopes, dreams dashed within 90minute, leaving the top finalist with the honey of the event. FIFA will award the winners of the 2018 World Cup final France $38m in prize money while Croatia, the runners-up in Sunday’s showpiece at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium will receive $28m. Both amounts are a $3m increase on those awarded to the finalists of the 2014 tournament in Brazil, in which Germany beat Argentina.
Belgium will receive $24m for their victory on Saturday in the third-place playoff in St Petersburg, $2m more than fourth-placed England.
The French lifted the World Cup for the second time by ending Croatia’s dream of a first title with a 4-2 victory on Sunday in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals in decades.
France led 2-1 at halftime after a Mario Mandzukic own goal and an Antoine Griezmann VAR penalty, with Ivan Perisic briefly bringing first-time finalists Croatia level.
Quickfire strikes by Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe midway through the second half put France on course for the title but Mandzukic was gifted a goal by French keeper Hugo Lloris to set up a nervous last 20 minutes.
France, however, withstood a spirited Croatia assault to lift the trophy for the second time, following their success on home soil 20 years ago, and ensure there was no repeat of two years ago when they were beaten in the European Championship final by Portugal in Paris.
The victory means that Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 side, becomes the third man to win the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.
It was the highest-scoring final since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 60 years ago.
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