The final recap! Thank you all for following and discussing with me! Sectant has suggested me to do something like this for Euro 2020, and I might do that! So I look forward to seeing you soon. Any comments, feedback, or criticism is welcome! Thank you all again!
THIRD PLACE MATCH
Belgium 2-0 England
For the second time in the tournament, Belgium and England competed against each other. The importance of the match is debated: on one hand, it is always pleasant to win something, anything at all, which is the third place (there are even psychological studies that suggest how third-place winners are often happier/more satisfied than those in second place, because they focus more on what the loss represents, not winning the first place.) On the other hand, many believe this match has no importance or relevance whatsoever and is yet another FIFA strategy to get more money out of fans and sponsors. I personally do like the third place match, as it gives the losing semi-finalists another chance at winning something, and it's one more match! Post-World Cup depression is already hitting me! What do I do now?! In any case, this was a pretty good match, but Belgium ended up defeating the English, who have a great future and gave a great effort. These are two teams to watch out for in the Euro 2020 and Qatar 2022. Very strong contenders for the title.
France 4-2 Croatia
All finals are special in their own way, but this was one of the best I have ever watched in my short lifetime! On paper, a France vs England final looked much better for what it represented, two world powers battling it out for the gold. Croatia, however, did a splendid tournament from start to finish. They had a spectacular, flawless group stage, and managed to play extra time three times! That must have been exhausting for the Croatian players! France had an incredible collection of world-class players, even being able to leave out people like Payet, Laporte, and Rabiot. Mbappe, Griezmann and Pogba are truly one-of-a-kind. Mbappe has the absolute potential to become the best footballer in the world in a few years. It is a delight to watch him play. The French team played well and gave a strong show of their dominance in the final, taking the cup home for the first time since they won France 1998. Congratulations to the French! And the Croatians too, for a job well done!
Iranian Alireza Faghani was one of the best referees of the tournament but it was clear he would not get the final, so I think it was appropriate for him to get the third place match. He did a good job, with no major problems. It was nice to see this ref working.
I strongly criticized Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana throughout the entire tournament, because of what I thought were poor performances and decisions. I was almost certain that Bjorn Kuipers from the Netherlands (who was the final's fourth official) would be given the match because he was by far the best referee of the tournament. Pitana didn't do as bad as I thought though. Nevertheless, he made big mistakes. The foul that ended in France's first goal was non-existent, IMO. I watched the play live as it happened and the replay several times and I saw no contact from the Croatian player to Griezmann. As for the penalty, I think it was a clear one, because deliberate or not, the hand was not next to the body, it was an unnatural (perhaps unavoidable though) reaction. It seems odd though, that there was a very similar play with Chicharito in Mexico vs Sweden, which Pitana officiated, and after looking at VAR he gave no penalty. I wonder if the pressure of the final changed anything. I really hope Kuipers makes it to 2022 and officiates the final. He deserves it.
- With an average of 26 years and 11 days, France is the fourth youngest squad to win a World Cup, after 1970's Brazil, 1950's Uruguay and 1958's Brazil.
- France is the first country in history to win the World Cup without its starting striker (Giroud) making a single shot on target. Oops.
- Mbappe is the second youngest player to ever score in a World Cup final, following the Brazilian legend Pele.
- Referee Nestor Pitana officiated both the opening match and the final of the World Cup. This also happened in Germany 2006 with Horacio Elizondo, who is also Argentinian.
UEFA Nations League: begins on September 6, 2018
UEFA Euro 2020: begins on June 12, 2020
FIFA World Cup 2022: begins on November 21, 2022
- How do you feel about France winning the World Cup? If these same teams were to play in Qatar 2022, who would you predict as champion?
- Which players shined and will shine even more in the future?
- What are your overall thoughts on this tournament?
Thank you for following. See you soon!