Following France's 4-2 victory in the final of the 2018 World Cup, Croatia are still looking to get the upper hand in what is now six attempts.
Six without a win for Croatia
Croatia have never beaten France in an official game or a friendly throughout their history. The two World Cup finalists have now played each other on six occasions, with France’s most famous victory, before tonight's huge win, coming on the first meeting between the nations in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals.
Lilian Thuram scored twice in the Stade de France to hand Les Bleus a 2-1 victory as they secured glory on home soil and that set the trend for the laste 90s/early 2000s, with France winning their next two game 3-0 and 2-0.
Croatia then secured two draws, a 2-2 in 2004 and a 0-0 in 2011, the last meeting between the nations ahead of the World Cup Final in Russia.
Extra time in Moscow?
The chances of extra time in Moscow were fairly high: Croatia’s last five knock-out games in major tournaments have gone the distance, against Turkey at Euro 2008, Portugal at Euro 2016 and their three games en route to the final in Russia, against Denmark, Russia and England. Only Belgium (1986) and England (1990) have reached the semi-finals in the same way.
The last three World Cup finals (2006, 2010 and 2014) have all gone to extra time, with the additional 30 also required in 1934, 1966, 1978 and 1994. However, penalties have decided the World Cup final only twice, in 1994 and 2006.
Five clubs were always guaranteed a World Cup winner on Sunday whatever the result: Monaco (Subasic and Sidibé), Atlético (Vrsaljko, Griezmann, Lemar, Lucas), Real Madrid (Modric, Kovacic and Varane), Barcelona (Rakitic, Umtiti and Dembélé) and Juventus (Mandzukic and Matuidi). No Atlético Madrid player has ever been on the winning side in a World Cup final, until tonight.
Kylian Mbappé became the fourth teenager to contest a World Cup final in Moscow after Morán (Uruguay, 1950), Pelé (Brazil, 1958) and Bergomi (Italy, 1982.) All were on the winning side as was the Frenchman who also became the second youngest scorer in the final.