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Didier Deschamps joins elite club as France beat Croatia to win 2nd World Cup title

Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 side, becomes the third man to lift the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.

football Updated: Jul 16, 2018 00:11 IST
Omnisport
Didier Deschamps,France,Croatia
France coach Didier Deschamps celebrates with France staff after winning the World Cup 2018 title on Sunday.(REUTERS)

France won their second World Cup on Sunday with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Croatia in Moscow.

It means that Didier Deschamps is only the third person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.

READ | Adaptability helps France beat Croatia to lift FIFA World Cup for the second time

That was not the only impressive stat from one of the most entertaining World Cup finals in recent history, however.

“It’s so beautiful, so wonderful,” Deschamps told French TV channel TF1.

“I’m really happy for this group... It wasn’t always easy, but by working hard, listening, they are on top of the world for four years.”

“We also scored four goals. We merit it. I am very happy for this team. We are coming from very far and it has not always been easy, but thanks to hard work, they are here and are on top of the world for the next four years.”

France won the World Cup for the second time by ending battling Croatia’s dream of a first title with a 4-2 victory on Sunday in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals for decades.

France led 2-1 at halftime after a Mario Mandzukic own goal and an Antoine Griezmann VAR penalty, with Ivan Perisic briefly bringing first-time finalists Croatia level.

Quickfire strikes by Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe midway through the second half put France on course for the title but Mandzukic was gifted a goal by French keeper Hugo Lloris to set up a nervous last 20 minutes.

France, however, withstood a spirited Croatia assault to lift the trophy for the second time, following their success on home soil 20 years ago, and ensure there was no repeat of two years ago when they were beaten in the European Championship final by Portugal in Paris.

First Published: Jul 16, 2018 00:07 IST