France vs. Croatia

France vs. Croatia: What you need to know about 2018 World Cup final in Russia


You aren’t what anybody would refer to as a soccer fan. That’s fine. Even if it’s the most popular sport in the world, it’s not nearly as massive an entity in the United States, particularly this year with the U.S. missing out on the World Cup. Still, for the last month, you’ve heard a lot about the World Cup, and it’s piqued your interest. Now, with the final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium between France and Croatia only days away, you’ve decided you want to watch the match, but you don’t want to go in blind.

What: World Cup final
When: Sunday, July 15, 11 a.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
Who: France vs. Croatia
Where: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
How did France get here?

Consider me your guide. I can’t make you fluent in The Beautiful Game, but I can give you enough information to work with so that you’ll know what to look for, and maybe even surprise somebody with your knowledge.
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France’s path to the World Cup final didn’t come as much of a surprise, as it was considered one of the favorites before the tournament started. It landed in Group C with Denmark, Peru and Australia, and was a heavy favorite to win the group, which it did. After two wins against Australia and Peru to begin group play the French already clinched a berth in the round of 16, and a draw with Denmark gave them first place in the group. It then met Argentina in the first round of the knockout stage (think of it as the World Cup’s equivalent of the NCAA Tournament: Win or go home) and won in an exciting 4-3 match. The next round brought Uruguay, another strong team, but one without a key player as striker Edinson Cavani missed the match with an injured calf. France won that match 2-0 before moving on to the semifinals where it took out another strong team in Belgium, winning 1-0.