France-Croatia: a final of contrasts
The similarities between Sunday's World Cup finalists are few and far between, starting with a match-up between one of the favourites and a surprise package.
Sunday's World Cup final between France and Croatia is a final of contrasts on and off the pitch. For starters, Deschamps' side was one of the pre-tournament favourites, while Crotia, despite boasting one of the finest midfields, have been a surprise package. The bookies give France a slight edge, but given Croatia's battle-hardened march to the final no one is writing them off. Below is a comparison between both nations.
France has a population of 67.1 million and ranks number 22 on the list of countries by population. Croatia has 4.1 million inhabitants, and ranks 130 on the list. To put that into perspective, the population of France is more than 16 times bigger.
France won their first World Cup in 1998 on home soil and were runners-up in 2006, which means they will be playing in their third final. Les Bleus have also won two European Championships and two Confederation Cups. Croatia, meanwhile, were World Cup semi-finalists in 1998 and have never reached a final.
There are almost 14 times the number of registered clubs between both countries: in France there are 20,062 and 1,464 clubs in Croatia.
The France side has a market value of 1 billion euros and its two stars, Mbappé and Griezmann, are worth 120 and 100 million, respectively. Croatia's side is worth 354 million, with Rakitic currently their most expensive player after his €50-million move the Barcelona.
France has one of the strongest economies in the world, with a GDP per capita of 36,854 US dollars, while Croatia's economy is growing, with a GDP per capita of 12,090 US dollars.
Ligue 1 is one of the strongest leagues in the world and led by the wealth and power of PSG. Eight of France's 23-man squad play in France. By contrast, Croatia only have two players - Bradaric and Livakovic - in their squad who play domestic football in Croatia.
France played their first game in 1904 against Belgium. Since then they have played just under 850 internationals. Croatia played their first in 1940 and were recognised as an independent republic by both FIFA and UEFA. In total they have played some 300 games.
France have taken part in 15 World Cups, only missing out in 1950, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1990 and 1994. Croatia have only played in five tournaments, in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2018.
Didier Deschamps is an institution in French football, captaining his country to World Cup success in 1998. He has also manages Monaco, Juventus and Marseille. Dalic, meanwhile, has had a much more low-key career, and was brought in during the qualificaiton play-offs.
France currently lie seventh in the FIFA rankings, and were number one between May 2001 and May 2002. Croatia are currently 20th, with their highest position coming in 1999 when they reached third.
Te recomendamos en English
- CHILD TAX CREDIT Can Child Tax Credit payments affect my tax return in 2022?
- OLYMPIC GAMES Who is Laurel Hubbard? Meet the transgender athlete breaking barriers at the Tokyo Olympics
- OLYMPIC GAMES USA at Tokyo Olympics 2021 live updates: JuVaughn Harrison, Jennifer Gadirova | medal count, results, today 1 August
- OLYMPIC GAMES | SWIMMING What are Katie Ledecky's stats: records, Olympic medals, titles
- CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK California Golden State stimulus check: when is the new payment coming?
- OLYMPIC GAMES Tokyo Olympics 2021 medal count updates: who has won more? Tally by country, today, 1 August