France were thankful to ruthless forwards Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe as they saw off Croatia for their second World Cup title.
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe inspired France to a 4-2 World Cup final victory over Croatia.
Griezmann delivered a free-kick for Mario Mandzukic’s own-goal opener before converting a penalty for the second, while teenager Mbappe thrashed in the fourth.
Paul Pogba, teed up by Griezmann, also netted for France, who were clinical on the break despite Croatia’s control of the ball.
Ivan Perisic had earlier equalised in a fine individual display, but Mandzukic’s bizarre strike 20 minutes from time – following a Hugo Lloris error – was merely a consolation as Didier Deschamps’ side triumphed in Moscow.
Hugo Lloris: 3
There was one smart stop shortly after half-time, but Lloris never looked convincing from crosses into his area and his mistake for Mandzukic’s goal, as he passed the ball directly at the forward, was inexplicable.
Benjamin Pavard: 5
Up against a tough customer in Perisic, Pavard was penned back and made to work hard on France’s right flank.
Raphael Varane: 7
Despite a couple of clumsy moments in possession, Varane’s pace and aerial ability were key as Croatia dominated the midfield but struggled to score.
Samuel Umtiti: 7
Umtiti was struggling in the warm-up and took a couple of early kicks, but he lifted himself to keep Croatia at bay for much of the 90 minutes.
Lucas Hernandez: 6
Played a crucial role in limiting Sime Vrsaljko’s space on the right, while the Atletico Madrid defender led the charge for Mbappe’s strike in the second half.
Paul Pogba: 7
Overrun in the first half, Pogba worked hard throughout and was rewarded with a final goal as he kept his cool to score at the second attempt for the third goal. The midfielder started and finished the move.
N’Golo Kante: 4
An uncharacteristically sloppy Kante display allowed Croatia complete control of the midfield area. Booked before he was hooked shortly after half-time.
Kylian Mbappe: 7
After a quiet first half, Mbappe came to the fore with his lightning pace. His devastating finish put the result beyond doubt, too.
Antoine Griezmann: 8
Considering Croatia’s dominance, Griezmann could hardly have been more influential. His delivery for the opener was sublime, his composure for the penalty serene, while he teed up Pogba for France’s third goal.
Blaise Matuidi: 5
Matuidi’s influence increased, like Mbappe’s, as space opened up for France to play on the counter, but he was largely quiet for his 73 minutes on the pitch.
Olivier Giroud: 4
As had become familiar throughout the tournament, Giroud offered little in the final third, while he was occasionally more of a hinderance than a help in defensive areas.
Steven Nzonzi: 5
Nzonzi sought to restore some calm to the midfield battle after a watching brief for 55 minutes, though Croatia continued to control possession as France protected their lead.
Corentin Tolisso: 5
Thrown on to help Hernandez stem the tide down France’s left flank, the substitute was scarcely involved but played his role.
Nabil Fekir: 5
Replacing Giroud just under 10 minutes from the end, Fekir had little time to make his mark on the game.
Danijel Subasic: 6
The goalkeeper made one good save from Mbappe, but he was helpless to prevent France’s goals and was completely wrongfooted by Pogba’s left-footed strike.
Sime Vrsaljko: 6
Although Vrsaljko continued to deliver with quality when given the opportunity, he was far less influential than in previous matches.
Dejan Lovren: 5
Competed well against Giroud, but the Liverpool centre-back never looked primed to deal with the speed of the France attack.
Domagoj Vida: 6
After a strong first half saw Vida set up Perisic’s goal and impressively keep Mbappe in check, he was the victim of the space left by Croatia’s desperate attempts to get back into the game.
Ivan Strinic: 6
Strinic ran himself into the ground and supported Rakitic in attack, although Mbappe’s pace caused him problems going the other way.
Luka Modric: 7
Rallied his team time and time again and forged openings in the second half, while his set-piece delivery was excellent. However, not even Modric could not drag Croatia to victory on this occasion.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6
Hassled and harried as Croatia won the midfield battle, yet unable to stem the tide when France started causing problems on the counter.
Ivan Rakitic: 7
Rakitic’s range of passing worried France and he was integral as his team ran midfield, albeit his efforts became a little desperate in the latter stages.
Ante Rebic: 6
Having played through the pain barrier against England, Rebic showed great energy once more. His versatility across the front line caused France issues.
Mario Mandzukic: 6
Unfortunate to net an early own goal – the first in World Cup final history – Mandzukic played a role in the equaliser and then capitalised on Lloris’ bumbling footwork to give his side a glimmer of hope.
Ivan Perisic: 8
Involved at both ends of the pitch in the first half as he was unfortunate to be penalised for handball, Perisic ran the France defence ragged, crossed with quality and scored a superb goal.
Andrej Kramaric: 6
Replacing the tiring Rebic, Kramaric showed some nice touches and created space for his team-mates, but it was to no avail.
Marko Pjaca: 4
A clumsy touch in front of goal seconds after his arrival off the bench was Pjaca’s most notable contribution.