Welcome to News Nation live coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2018. After a total of 63 games, it is time for the final showdown between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow of the FIFA's showpiece event to decide who takes the golden trophy home.
France will be appearing in the second consecutive major final after losing out to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016
, and their third World Cup final apperance, winning the tournament once in 1998 when present coach Didier Deschamps was the skipper.
Croatia have played three consecutive extra-time matches but the tiredness won't affect their passion as they play their first major final ever and they would be looking forward to become the second smallest nation to win the World cup after Uruguay.
Highlights of France vs Croatia FIFA World Cup 2018 FINAL:
# Thanks for joining in! It has been a fascinating tournament for many and the footballing fans could not be happier with the quality of football displayed throughout the tournament!
# The referee blows the FULL TIME whistle and France are the World Champions!!!
# 90+3' Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia) is yellow-carded.
# 90+2' Paul Pogba (France) looks to break free, but an opposing player clears the ball away.
# 5 additional min. will be played.
# 89' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) collects a pass and strikes from about 20 metres out. It's a poor attempt which flies well wide of the right post.
# 87' A run and shot from the edge of the box by Nabil Fekir (France) causes Danijel Subasic little worry as it's towards the middle of the goal. Easy save.
# 85' Marko Pjaca (Croatia) attempts to slip the ball through the defence, but is unable to find any of his teammates.
# 84' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) swings a cross into the box, but it's far too close to Hugo Lloris, who smothers the ball.
# 82' Zlatko Dalic prepares a substitution. Ivan Strinic is replaced by Marko Pjaca (Croatia).
# 81' Substitution. Olivier Giroud did his best and is replaced by Nabil Fekir (France).
# 80' Kylian Mbappe (France) skips past his man but can't keep the ball in play.
# 78' CHANCE! Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) steadies himself on the edge of the box and releases a precise effort on goal that just narrowly sails past the right post
# 76' There's a distinct lack of options for Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia), so he drills a shot from long range that curls well wide of the left post.
# 75' Ivan Perisic (Croatia) sends a cross into the box. However, the opponent's defence eliminates the danger by clearing the ball out.
# 74' Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) has picked up a minor injury, but it looks like he will be able to continue.
# 73' Didier Deschamps decides to make a substitution. Blaise Matuidi will be replaced by Corentin Tolisso (France).
# 71' Substitution. Andrej Kramaric (Croatia) on for Ante Rebic.
# 69' Goal! Hugo Lloris makes a huge mistake and Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) has an easy task to put the ball into the back of the net. 4:2.
# 65' Goal! Lucas tees up Kylian Mbappe (France) on the edge of the box and he fires the ball into the left side of the goal. 4:1.
# 63' Ivan Perisic (Croatia) attempts to find the head of one of his teammates with a promising cross into the box, but a defender outjumps the attackers and averts the threat.
# 62' The resulting corner from Antoine Griezmann (France) is cleared by the defence.
# 62' Olivier Giroud (France) sends a sweet pass into the penalty area, but one of the defenders averts the danger. The ball is out of play. France win a corner kick.
# 59' GOAL! Paul Pogba (France) picks up the ball from a rebound and from the edge of the box he unleashes a shot inside the left post. It's 3:1.
# 58' Ivan Perisic (Croatia) fails to pick a body out in the box with an over-hit chip pass.
# 58' Olivier Giroud (France) commits a foul and Nestor Pitana immediately signals a free kick.
# 56' Antoine Griezmann (France) looks to break free, but his touch lets him down and he loses the ball.
# 55' Substitution. Steven N'Zonzi (France) in, N'Golo Kante out.
# 54' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) serves up a nice cross, but Hugo Lloris punches the ball away.
# 52' A fan invades the pitch and the game has to be interrupted!
# 52' What an amazing save by Danijel Subasic! Kylian Mbappe (France) swirls around the defenders and attempts to beat the keeper with a close-range shot towards the middle of the target, but fails.
# 51' Good play from Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia) gives him some space for the shot from distance, but it's lacking accuracy and goes well wide of the left post.
# 50' Luka Modric (Croatia) takes the corner, but one of the defenders reacts well and rises highest to head the ball away
# 50' Luka Modric (Croatia) looks to break free, but an opposing player clears the ball away. Croatia earn a corner.
# 49' Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) sends a pass into the box, but the opposition's defence is alert to the danger and makes a clearance.
# 49' Antoine Griezmann (France) races towards goal but the defender gets back well to make a challenge.
# 48' CHANCE! Ante Rebic (Croatia) takes a wonderful touch after collecting a pass inside the box. He steers his shot towards the roof of the net, but the keeper makes a superb save! Croatia have been awarded a corner kick.
# 47' Antoine Griezmann (France) picks up a pass and tries his luck from mid-range towards the middle of the goal, but Danijel Subasic is equal to it and makes an easy save.
# 46' Half-chance! Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia) plays a pass into the box, but Hugo Lloris reacts well to snuff out the attack.
# Second half begins!
# The match has reached half-time. Phew! What a half of football this has been! Join us soon for the second half of the World Cup FINAL!
# 45+2' Olivier Giroud (France) is unable to feed a through ball into the path of his teammates.
# 3 mins of additional time given.
# 45' Domagoj Vida (Croatia) finds enough space to climb high and plants a header well wide of the right post. What a poor effort.
# 44' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) launches a powerful cross from the corner into the box, but the ball is intercepted by the defender.
# 44' The resulting corner from Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) is cleared by the opposition's defence. The referee blows his whistle, Croatia are awarded a corner kick.
# 43' Dejan Lovren (Croatia) shoots inside the box, but is denied by a timely block. It will be a corner kick for Croatia.
# 42' Samuel Umtiti (France) gives away a foul for a fierce tackle on an opponent.
# 41' Nestor Pitana shows the yellow card to Lucas (France) for a heavy challenge.
# 39' GOAL! Antoine Griezmann (France) wins the battle of wills and sends an unstoppable penalty past Danijel Subasic into left side of the goal. France 2-1 Croatia
# 37' Antoine Griezmann (France) is heading towards the penalty spot to take it.
# 35' Ivan Perisic (Croatia) handles the ball inside the penalty area. Referee Nestor Pitana makes the VAR signal and is going to check whether it’s a penalty for France. Its given!
# 34' Antoine Griezmann (France) will try to find the head of one of his teammates from a corner kick.
# 33' Hugo Lloris (France) attempts a long crossfield pass, but the defence does well to intercept the ball. The ball is out of play and France manage to earn a corner.
# 32' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) fails to find a teammate across the pitch with a long ball.
# 31' The linesman signals that Kylian Mbappe (France) is offside and the referee confirms the decision.
# 29' GOAL! Domagoj Vida plays it to Ivan Perisic (Croatia), whose deflected shot from inside the box goes past the helpless Hugo Lloris. 1:1.
# 29' N'Golo Kante (France) gets a yellow card.
# 27' Benjamin Pavard (France) and Kylian Mbappe combine well with a quick one-two and their attacking move continues.
# 24' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) latches onto a cross inside the box but fires a poor effort high over the bar.
# 24' Luka Modric (Croatia) sends the ball into the penalty area from a free kick a few yards outside the box. The cross is good, but the goalkeeper shows himself in a good light as he leaps high to intercept the ball.
# 21' Domagoj Vida (Croatia) misses a promising opportunity! He rises for a cross and unleashes a poor header from near the penalty spot. The ball floats high over the crossbar!
# 18' OWN GOAL! The free kick is whipped in and Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) is unlucky enough to head the ball into his own net. France lead!
# 17' Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) makes a reckless foul in order to win the ball from his opponent. Nestor Pitana has a clear sight of it and blows his whistle. France have been awarded a free kick.
# 16' Kylian Mbappe (France) tries to send the ball in front of the goal, but the opposition's defence averts the threat.
# 14' Ivan Perisic (Croatia) tries to pass the ball into the penalty area but it's blocked.
# 13' Samuel Umtiti (France) sends a long ball across the pitch, but it misses its target.
# 10' Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) shows his incredible technical ability by sending the ball into free space and Ivan Perisic latches onto his pass.
# 9' A crossfield pass from Dejan Lovren (Croatia) fails to find any of his teammates.
# 9' Poor challenge! Ante Rebic (Croatia) is penalised for tripping and Nestor Pitana blows his whistle.
# 8' Luka Modric (Croatia) takes the corner but only sends it into a huddle of the defenders and one of them makes a good clearance.
# 7' A pass into the penalty area from Ivan Strinic (Croatia) is intercepted by the defence. The referee points to the corner flag. It's a corner to Croatia.
# 7' Ivan Strinic (Croatia) goes on a solo run, but he fails to create a chance as an opposition player blocks him.
# 4' An attempted cross from Ante Rebic (Croatia) is cleared.
# 3' Ivan Perisic (Croatia) looks to break free, but an opposing player clears the ball away.
# 3' Rough tackle by Luka Modric (Croatia). The referee blows his whistle for a foul.
# 2' Luka Modric (Croatia) is obviously not following the Golden Rule: "Treat others as you want to be treated.“ He makes a bad challenge and leaves Nestor Pitana with no other option than to blow for a foul.
# Kicks off!
# Players are out for the National Anthems!
# Individuals in the VIP box for this World Cup final between France & Croatia include: Nicolas Sarkozy, Laurent Blanc, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Philipp Lahm, Diego Maradona, Davor Suker, Lillian Thuram, Francesco Totti, Marcel Desailly, Arsène Wenger, Usain Bolt & Mick Jagger.
# Players to watch: Kylian Mbappe (FRA) has showcased his huge array of talents this WC, scoring three goals. At times, the 19-year-old has looked unplayable! While Luka Modric (two goals) is the man who makes Croatia tick. If he can escape the shackles of N'Golo Kanté and co, then Croatia might be in with a chance.
# France XI:
Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kanté, Pogba, Matuidi; Mbappé, Griezmann, Giroud.
# Croatia XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric; Perisic, Rebic, Mandzukic.
# The dressing rooms!
Legend have a message
for both the teams!