Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, July 14, 2018 11:23:02 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

World Cup dream final

Croatia face France today

By
15th-Jul-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Sports Desk :
Croatia face France at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium today (Sunday) aiming to win a first major international trophy, while their opponents are in a third final in six World Cups and attempting to add a second title to the one they won in Paris 20 years ago.
The man leading them, Didier Deschamps, is in his third tournament in charge and hoping to become only the third person to lift the trophy as a player and manager.
His counterpart, Zlatko Dalic, has been Croatia manager for just nine months but is 90 minutes from winning football's biggest prize and completing one of the more unlikely triumphs in World Cup history.
With a population of 4.17 million, you would think Croatia would be the smallest country to have reached a World Cup final. But that accolade goes to Uruguay, who won the inaugural competition in 1930 with an estimated population of about 1.7 million.
At 20th in Fifa's world rankings, Dalic's side are the lowest-ranked team to reach a World Cup final, and the 13th different nation to do so.
This is the furthest they have advanced in the competition, bettering their third-place finish 20 years ago, when their brilliant run was ended at the last four stage by... eventual champions France.
While this year's semi-final victory shattered dreams in England, it sparked wild celebrations in Zagreb and beyond, with thousands of fans pouring onto the streets, singing, letting off flares and waving red, white and blue flags.
"Dream, Dream, Dream! Croatia are in the World Cup final," said the Sportske Novosti newspaper, adding Dalic "has entered into legend"

after surpassing the achievement of the 1998 team.
"The Fiery Ones are in the final, the nation is in a trance - one more step to the title!" said the Jutarnji List.
Davor Kovacevic, journalist with the Sportarena website, wrote: "They say we didn't excite in our games. Who cares? We excited ourselves, that's what matters. As if France did excite. And they are worth three to four time more than us."
France reached the final of their home European Championship in 2016 but, despite being strong favourites to beat Portugal, they fell short.
The memories of that defeat are driving the team - and the country - this time.
The SudOuest newspaper sees Sunday as a chance to heal the "scar" of two years ago. This time, they say, "the context is different: the players have grown, and there's Kylian Mbappe". The forward is "on fire", "inspires fear", and is one of France's "many weapons capable of breaking the Croatian siege".
The French media have paid particular attention to their team's extra preparation time for the final. They played their semi-final 24 hours before Croatia's, and all their knockout ties have been won in normal time, while their opponents have needed extra time (and penalties twice) in each of their three games since the group stage.
According to Le Figaro, that is a "godsend" against a "talented and promising team capable of posing problems".
For Le Point, it all comes down to the players' states of mind. Despite the extra time, Croatia's mental state has been "faultless" and the team "seems unbeatable".
Perhaps it will be a game won by individual brilliance...
This tournament was considered a last chance for two greats of their generation - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Lionel Messi - to dominate a World Cup.
But both were eliminated at the last-16 stage, leaving the way clear for other players to make their mark and win the prestigious Golden Ball award for the competition's best player. And while there have been some superb individual performances, no-one has stood out to such an extent they are a certainty for the prize.
Could the final be the deciding factor? Interestingly, it is 24 years (six tournaments) since the Golden Ball winner came from the champions. Maybe this is the year that changes. Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has received plenty of praise for his performances so far, including a man-of-the-match showing against Argentina in the group stage.
France forward Mbappe announced himself on the biggest stage with two goals to send the Argentines home in a showing filled with pace, trickery and skill. He will be looking to become only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final, after Brazil legend Pele in 1958.
A match-winning display in the final could tip the balance in their favour, while the same could be said for Antoine Griezmann, who is tied on three goals with Mbappe. Both players know a hat-trick would take them level on six goals with England's Harry Kane in the battle for the Golden Boot.
Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren splits opinion among supporters, but you can't argue with his record this season.
If he plays, Lovren will become only the second player to play in the Champions League final for an English club and the World Cup final in the same year, after Thierry Henry in 2006.
On that occasion, Henry ended up on the losing side in both matches, for Arsenal against Barcelona and France against Italy. At the beginning of this season, Lovren was substituted by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after just 31 minutes of their 4-1 defeat by Tottenham, having been run ragged by Kane at Wembley. Lovren got his revenge by keeping the Spurs man quiet in the semi-final and could now end his season on the highest note possible.
"It's something special for me," Lovren is reported said. "From my point of view, people were saying I had a difficult season but I don't agree with that.
"I showed that I took Liverpool to the Champions League final and now with my national team we are in the final.
"I think people should recognise that I'm one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense."
But how do the numbers stack up?
Of all the defenders to play in the tournament, 29-year-old Lovren has won 32 aerial duels - only England's Harry Maguire with 37 has won more - and has a 100% success rate from three tackles attempted.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Treatment of Lord Carlile revealed lack of confidence


A BRITISH parliamentarian, lawyer and also the counsel for jailed opposition leader Khaleda Zia, Alex Carlile was denied entry to India as he wanted to address a press conference at a meeting of a human rights body in Delhi.While explaining the entry rejection, the Indian Foreign Ministry sources said Carlile's ...

Football »

Era Istrefi, Will Smith and Nicky Jam pose with the World Cup trophy at a press conference during the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on Friday.


.

Entertainment »

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra`s catfight continues


Looks like the rivalry between Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra is not going to stop anytime soon. The oldest competitors who started off their career in a similar manner post receiving the title of Miss World have found another medium to compete. After spreading their magic on International grounds, ...

International »

Trump torpedoes May`s Brexit strategy on UK visit


AFP, London :US President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, plunging the transatlantic "special relationship" to a new low as they prepared to meet Friday on the second day of his tumultuous trip to Britain.In an interview conducted before he began his visit, ...

City »

Non-Government Employees Union in Government Colleges formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Friday demanding nationalization of services of non-government employees in Government colleges.


.

Editorial »

Govt must take prompt action to end the uncertainity over LNG


WE became very happy when American company Excelerate Energy's Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) 'Excellence' arrived at Moheshkhali deep sea on April 23 bringing 0.65 million tone liquid gas from Qatar. The $180 million project was co-developed by Petrobangla, Excelerate Energy and the International Finance Corporation, a member of ...

Football »

Croatia`s soccer fans celebrate in Nikolskaya street near the Kremlin as their team won the semi-final soccer match against England at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday night.


Football »

England soccer fans react after England team lost the semifinal match against Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at Hyde Park in London on Wednesday night.


International »

All migrant kids under five to be back with parents: US official


Reuters, Washington :All migrant children under age 5 who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border will have been reunited with their parents by early Thursday morning if they were eligible, a Trump administration official said in a statement on Wednesday.The American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the government over its ...

International »

Malala slams Trump's child separation policy


Reuters, Brazil :Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai described as "cruel" a policy launched by US President Donald Trump to separate children of illegal immigrants from their families, during her first visit to South America to promote girls' education.More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents after the Trump ...

City »

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaking at a seminar on


City »

Birthday of Abdullah Al-Mamun today


Today is the 76th birthday of director, playwright and actor Abdullah Al-Mamun, one of the pioneers of modern Theatre in Bangladesh.To celebrate this versatile artist's life, his Theatre troupe 'Theatre' has arranged a memorial meeting and a show of his play.         On the occasion, a memorial meeting will be held ...

Entertainment »

Vaani Kapoor pumps up the iron, gets going for next with Hrithik, Tiger Shroff


Imagine how a film starring two terrific dancers such as Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff would turn out to be. The untitled venture has Vaani Kapoor in the lead and the actress has already started prepping up for her role. Vaani posted her gym shenanigans on the Instagram story, tagging ...

Editorial »

Quota reformers are denied justice, silent impunity offered to the attackers


BCL men have attacked quota reformists at least 13 times in the last three months while injuring around 68 students of four public universities. But neither police nor the university authorities took action against any of the attackers. The attacked and injured reformists were denied justice and some of the ...

Football »

Ronaldo ends nine-year Madrid reign, joins Juventus


Modern great Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid to join Italian champions Juventus for 100 million euros ($117 million) on Tuesday, with the Portuguese superstar saying the time had come "for a new stage" in his life.Juventus confirmed that Ronaldo had signed a four-year contract and that the transfer fee, including ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news