France will be Croatia’s opposition for their first ever World Cup final, the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow plays host to the biggest football game on Earth, Croatia are aiming to become just the 9th different nation to lift the World Cup trophy.
France have grown into the tournament after a shaky group stage performance, battling wins over Australia and Peru was followed by a dull 0-0 draw with Denmark, Les Bleus would come to life with a blockbuster 4-3 victory over Argentina, clinical wins over Uruguay and Belgium mean Deschamps’ men are looking to win the World Cup for the second time.
Croatia, in contrast, eased through their group, a comfortable 2-0 win over Nigeria, accompanied with a 3-0 thrashing of Argentina and a late win over Iceland, meant the Vatreni qualified from their group with a perfect record.
The Eastern Europeans have been through the mill in the knockout rounds, having needed extra time and penalties to defeat both Denmark and hosts Russia, before winning in extra time against England to reach their maiden World Cup final.
Ahead of the showpiece event, we take a look back at five previous encounters between the two nations:
World Cup '98 Semi-Final: France 2-1 Croatia
Croatia took the lead less than a minute into the second half through top scorer Davor Suker, Lilian Thuram would go on to score a brace to secure the hosts a comeback victory and a place in the final.
Int. Friendly (1999): France 3-0 Croatia
Goals from Robert Pires, Florian Maurice and Tony Vairelles meant the world champions came away with a convincing victory.
Int. Friendly (2000): Croatia 0-2 France
France continued their dominance over Croatia with a win in a warm up for Euro 2000, Robert Pires and David Trezeguet scored in another comfortable win for Les Bleus over the Croatians.
Euro 2004 Group Stage: Croatia 2-2 France
Croatia avoided defeat against France for the first time with a 2-2 draw in Lieira, the reigning European champions went ahead through a Tudor own goal but goals from Rapaic and Prso put Croatia ahead before Trezeguet secured France a point.
Int. Friendly (2011): France 0-0 Croatia
A dull 0-0 played in front of 55,000 people in Paris which no one will want to remember anytime soon.
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