World Cup History: Croatia vs France
With the much exciting World Cup Finals between Croatia and France about to take place, Let's take a look back into history to find out how these Europeans have fared against each other.
France has taken on Croatia thrice in the World Cup, with two of the meetings coming in the 1954 and 1958 World Cup against Yugoslavia (when Croatia was a part of it). France has won their only World Cup fixture against Croatia, while it has lost both their World Cup fixtures against Yugoslavia.
#1 1998 World Cup, France: France 2-1 Croatia
2018 World Cup finalists France and Croatia have faced each other only once in 1998 World Cup as independent nations. 1998 World Cup saw the second golden generation of France taking on the first golden generation of Croatia, as both the teams looked to enter into the World Cup Finals.
The hosts France came into the tournament as strong favourites with players like Zidane, Thuram, Henry and present French coach Didier Deschamps, to name a few in the long list of stars, and progressed to the semi-finals. The then newly independent and debutants Croatia came into the tournament with players like Suker, Boban, Jarni, and Prosinecki, to name a few, and also progressed to the semi-finals.
The match is infamously remembered for the red card received by Laurent Blanc on Slaven Bilic, when the latter made the referee give marching orders to Blanc, that would see them miss the eventual final against Brazil. It was the unlikelier Croatia who took the lead in the match as, the eventual 1998 Golden Boot winner, Davor Suker slotted home in the 46th minute to give Croatia a 1-0 lead just after half-time. The lead did not last more than one minute as Lilian Thuram scored his first ever international goal for France in the 47th minute to level the score and nicked in the winner in the 70th minute.