World Cup 2018: Qualities of a champion
The 2018 World Cup has been more exciting and unpredictable than anyone could have guessed. This tournament has treated us to major upsets, devastating blowouts, and even a record-setting number of penalty shoot-outs (currently tied all-tournament record with 4).
Despite all the excitement, the World Cup boils down to the best teams, and a thorough examination of the remaining few will reveal that they each have a distinct quality that has helped them beat the trials of the opening round and first few elimination games. Let us take a look at what qualities have helped these final four teams thrive at the 2018 World Cup.
#1 Experience & Youth
While France have notably crashed out of the World Cup on several occasions, they find themselves back in the Final Four for the 5th time. This French side now boast a balanced mixture of experience and youth, and they seem to have all the pieces in place to come home World Cup champions.
In their recent transition, France have turned to the likes of Lloris, Varane, Kante, and Matuidi to build a solid foundation through defense and the back of the midfield. On the forefront, Griezmann, Giroud, and Pogba provide hold up play that allows their youth to be creative and make stellar runs. Without these experienced players, France would find themselves very vulnerable and their ability to shut down and frustrate opponents would be lost.
On the other hand, France look to their young stars to grind through defenses with both pace and creativity. At just 19, 21, and 22 respectively, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Benjamin Pavard are the youthful core that gives this French side such high hopes for the future.
However, in recent games, Mbappe has been the one to step up and show why he might be the best young professional on the planet. Having so many experienced players at his back has given Mbappe the chance to show his pace and trickery, and it has worked wonders as France continue to notch goals at an astounding rate.
His ability to break down defenses and swing in dangerous crosses has helped his teammates find incredible scoring chances. If France hope to win this World Cup, you can expect their experience to hold opponents in check while their youthful attacker continues to spark the scoring chances.