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Five reasons France won the World Cup

Ben Winfield
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.59K   //    16 Jul 2018, 21:22 IST

Football: World Cup final
France celebrate winning the World Cup

After a brilliant four weeks of football, the World Cup has come to an end. After one of the best tournaments we have seen for years, it was France who came away with their second world title.

France were among the favourites to win the tournament coming into the World Cup, partly down to the embarrassment of riches available to them in the final third. But despite how strong they looked on paper, France didn’t exactly impress in the group stage.

They needed the help of VAR to beat Australia, before Kylian Mbappe scored the only goal as they snuck past Peru, a win which secured them a place in the round of 16. The final game with Denmark was virtually a dead rubber, and they played out a dull 0-0 draw.

France came to life in the round of 16 though, and their game with Argentina was one of the best matches of the tournament. They came out on top, thanks to a double from Mbappe, and a sensational strike from Benjamin Pavard.

In the quarter finals, they put out Uruguay, who many had been seen as dark horses heading into the tournament. They breached a defence who had conceded just one goal in their previous four matches, on two occasions. The first came from Raphael Varane’s header, and the second was scored by Antoine Griezmann, thanks to a horrible error from Fernando Muslera.

The semi-final saw them come up against Belgium’s golden generation, who had just beaten Brazil, and were looking like the Real deal. It was France who got the better of the semi-final though, with Samuel Umtiti’s header enough to see them through.

Then to the final, where they faced Croatia, who were appearing in their first major tournament final. They produced one of the most exciting finals we have seen, as France won 4-2, picking up their first world title since 1998.

It was a World Cup that will live long in the memory of the French, and here are five reasons why they came home with the trophy.


#1 They got the best out of Paul Pogba

TOPSHOT-FBL-WC-2018-MATCH64-FRA-CRO
Paul Pogba

It was probably the most asked question in English football last season- how do you get the best out of Paul Pogba? Manchester United tried him in a deeper role, as part of a midfield three, and even out on the left, but he never seemed to hit the heights that were expected of him when he first moved to England in 2016. It was a different story for France this summer though, as he finally looked like the sort of player United bought from Juventus, and he played a crucial role in taking Les Bleus to the title.

He was massively helped out by the presence of N’Golo Kante in the middle of midfield. The Chelsea man can cover the ground of two men in midfield on his own, and that meant Pogba could have slightly more impact further forward, without leaving his defence too exposed. He began the tournament by playing a key role in the winning goal against Australia, and ended it by starting, and finishing the move for France’s third goal, that realistically put the game to bed. Jose Mourinho will be hoping he can get the same from Pogba in a red shirt as well.

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Ben Winfield
ANALYST
19 year old student journalist, support Yeovil Town
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