• France topped World Cup champions for second time, Croatia declare second
  • Modric wins adidas Golden Ball, Kane takes residence adidas Golden Boot
  • Bronze for Belgium, England end fourth

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ thrilled from starting to finish. The 21st version of the world finals additionally produced numerous moments that can endure within the collective reminiscence of those that love the gorgeous recreation. From Kaliningrad to Ekaterinburg from Saint Petersburg to Sochi, there have been smiles and celebrations aplenty as tens of millions got here collectively to take pleasure in what was a real competition of soccer. There have been objectives aplenty: the primary and solely goalless draw at Russia 2018 got here after 36 matches, which was the newest for a single version in historical past. 

France have been topped champions for the second time in historical past and for the primary since they have been hosts in 1998 after defeating Croatia 4-2 in what is going to go down as probably the most thrilling World Cup finals ever. Nineteen-year-old Kylian Mbappe grew to become the second teenager in historical past to attain in a World Cup Remaining, following within the footsteps of Pele who did in order a 17-year-old in 1958. Objectives and performances from midfielder Paul Pogba and ahead Antoine Griezmann additionally proved important in serving to Les Bleus turn out to be world champions as soon as extra.

Defining moments
Giants fall in Kazan
Kazan Enviornment witnessed the elimination of a number of World Cup heavyweights. Holders Germany, for instance, have been defeated 2-Zero by Korea Republic there and did not progress from the group stage for the primary time within the nation’s proud World Cup historical past. The following large to fall was Lionel Messi’s Argentina within the Spherical of 16. In probably the most thrilling matches of the event, France – led by the exhilarating teenager Mbappe – noticed off La Albiceleste 4-3. Brazil, Argentina’s long-time South American rivals, have been subsequent, as Neymar and Co have been crushed by a formidable Belgium aspect within the quarter-finals.

Shock packages
Some nations scaled new heights at Russia 2018. The Crimson Devils of Belgium had their best-ever World Cup, ending in third and eclipsing their fourth-place end in 1986. Roberto Martinez’s aspect, who completed as the highest scoring group (16), have been certainly one of three sides – the others being Uruguay and Croatia – who emerged from the group stage with most factors. Russia’s quarter-final end was their first at that stage for the reason that former Soviet Union did it in 1970. Sweden reached the final eight for the primary time since USA 1994, whereas Croatia contested the nation’s first ever World Cup Remaining.

Followers, hosts create carnival ambiance
All through the assorted FIFA Fan Fests, the streets of all of the Host Cities and past and naturally within the stadiums themselves, the followers made this a World Cup to treasure. These supporters got here with their chants, their colors and above all, an unrelenting assist for his or her groups, and so they have been met in flip by heat and welcoming locals.

Breakout stars
If there have been nonetheless some soccer followers who have been unfamiliar with Mbappe earlier than France and Argentina’s Spherical of 16 tie, they actually knew all about him by the point the ultimate whistle sounded. The 19-year-old starred along with his electrifying tempo, ability and ending skill in Les Bleus’ epic 4-Three comeback win earlier than turning into the second teenager to attain in World Cup Remaining historical past in France’s 4-2 win over Croatia. Denis Cheryshev additionally had a event he’ll always remember. The Russia star bagged a brace within the hosts’ 5-Zero Opening Match win over Saudi Arabia, put in two Man of the Match performances and scored an excellent objective of their quarter-final defeat by the hands of the event’s runners-up. Colombia’s 23-year-old defender Yerry Mina was essential of their run to the Spherical of 16, showcasing his aerial prowess to attain in three consecutive matches for Los Cafeteros, a feat any ahead could be content material with, not to mention a centre-back.

Legends bid farewell
A number of of the sport’s greats introduced an finish to their World Cup tales. Javier Mascherano performed his 20th and closing World Cup match for Argentina, Japan’s Keisuke Honda his 11th and final recreation for the Samurai Blue. Scorer of the successful objective within the 2010 Remaining, Andres Iniesta’s final outing in a Spain jersey was in La Roja’s penalty shootout defeat by the hosts within the Spherical of 16. As for Mexico stalwart Rafael Marquez, he grew to become simply the third participant to play in 5 World Cups.

VAR makes its bow
Russia 2018 was historic for a lot of causes, however within the discipline of soccer expertise it was the daybreak of a brand new period with the introduction and use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Historical past was made in France’s 2-1 win over Australia, when Griezmann scored the primary penalty kick ensuing from a VAR assessment.

Stat of the event
19 – There have been 19 objectives scored in second-half damage time at Russia 2018, setting a brand new World Cup document. Neymar additionally scored the newest ever objective at a World Cup in common time (90’+7’) when he doubled Brazil’s lead of their 2-Zero win over Costa Rica. [Editor’s note: Injury time has been codified officially since 1998]

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