The Wall Street Journal: France wins World Cup with 4-2 victory over Croatia
MOSCOW—No team came into this World Cup with more simmering brilliance in its squad than France. With goalscoring talent up and down its lineup, it was a murderer’s row just waiting to be set loose onto the rest of the soccer-playing planet. Les Bleus brought so much talent, in fact, even when they reached the final of this tournament, they were still receiving criticism for not living up to their potential.
Because all along their road to Moscow, they dispensed it so sparingly that it was only ever the minimum required to beat their opponents. They rode their luck. They defended deep. And they did just enough.
On Sunday, that proved to be enough to win the World Cup.
With a tense 4-2 victory over Croatia, after a final that combined moments of individual shine with jaw-dropping fortune, Les Bleus lifted the trophy for the second time in their history, 20 years after the first.
For the exhausted Croatians, who had battled as fiercely as any team in the tournament, making sense of the match was almost harder than playing it. They left the field wondering how exactly the evening had broken against them so harshly.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.