Rivaldo left unhappy by France's World Cup final opener

Didier Deschamps Manager of France celebrates victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final against Croatia_Getty

Such is the difference in footballing pedigree between the two countries that when Deschamps lifted the trophy on home soil in 1998 as captain, Dalic was travelling to France to witness the tournament as a fan. "I am probably often in the right place at the right time, I can't complain". He's one of our players who does the same job as the others do.

With goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in excellent form behind the fast, astute central-defensive pairing of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti, France is not only hard to score against but also packed with speed and flair to strike at goal with defense-shredding attacks.

Midfielder Blaise Matuidi said the defeat in the Euro 2016 final - when France seemed to freeze in front of their own fans at the Stade de France in Paris and Portugal nicked a 1-0 win - would be in numerous players´ minds when they walk out at Moscow´s Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

The vastly talented Les Blues were the favourites going into the final against a gritty Croatian side that had withstood the rigorous of playing all their knockout matches well into extra-time.

In Russia, France were handed a group-stage draw that many saw as lucky, against modest opponents in Denmark, Australia and Peru.

"It is something that few coaches have". But Croatia despite that the first time the Croats reached a World Cup semi-final was in 1998.

"Two years ago, we didn't know we would have another chance, another opportunity to play in a final let alone a World Cup final". Both act as the ideal foil for the more creative players around them but, in truth, Giroud is a much better striker with only Henry, Michel Platini and David Trezeguet scoring more than his 31 global goals.

Some spectators were set to spend more than 10 hours in the sun waiting for the match.

Griezmann said he had changed the way he plays for France in order to benefit the team.

Platini's final world cup came in 1986 Mexico.

The build-up to Euro 2016 was overshadowed by Karim Benzema's exclusion from the squad over his alleged involvement in a blackmail affair involving a sextape and France colleague Mathieu Valbuena.

With the victory, Deschamps became only the third man to win the Fifa World Cup as player and coach. Yet you look at it and it seems so unexpected and so unreal. "I don't think Russian Federation is sending anyone back over here for trial, the same way we wouldn't send anybody over there for trial", Paul mused on CNN's State of the Union.

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