France clinched their second FIFA World Cup title winning a scintillating final 4-2 against Croatia that epitomised a tournament packed with drama, goals, glory and heartache.
Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann both took their World Cup goal tallies to four with strikes in the Moscow showpiece, while Paul Pogba scored his only goal of the 2018 competition and Mario Mandzukic put through his own net to make France the first team to score four in a final since Brazil in 1970.
Didier Deschamps’ men won all but one of their seven matches en route to lifting the game’s most coveted trophy for the first time in 20 years, scoring 14 goals and conceding six, while Croatia claimed the unwanted record of being the first team in 44 years to lose in their first World Cup final.
But it wasn’t just the finalists who racked up the numbers across the course of an entertaining tournament that was statistically remarkable – and even better to watch.
Below are some of the statistics that went unnoticed….
1 – Croatia are the first team to lose in their debut appearance in a World Cup final since Netherlands in 1974 (2-1 against Germany).
2 – England finally won a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup for the first time since 1990. The Three Lions won a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup for the first time following their match against Colombia in the last 16.
3 – Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic also became the first player to score an own goal in the final of the FIFA World Cup.
2 – The two winners of the Ballon D’Or in the last decade Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have not scored a goal in a World Cup knockout match, with both failing to end their drought in Russia. Ronaldo is on a six game World Cup knockout match drought while Messi is on eight games.
3 – Germany became the third successive defending champions to be eliminated in the group stages of the competition after Spain four years ago and Italy in 2010.
4 – Didier Deschamps is the third person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer with Germany.
5 – France became the first team to score four goals in a World Cup final since Brazil beat Italy 4-1 in 1970.
6 – Brazil have been eliminated by a European nation in each of the last four World Cup tournaments (France in 2006, Netherlands in 2010, Germany in 2014 and Belgium in 2018).
7 – Rafael Marquez featured in his fifth World Cup (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018), becoming just the third player to achieve this feat along with Mexican compatriot Antonio Carbajal (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962 and 1966) and Germany’s Lothar Matthaus (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998).
8 – Russia’s victory against Saudi Arabia on matchday one means the host nation has never lost their opening match in any of the 21 editions of the World Cup (16 wins, 6 draws, no losses).
9 – Cristiano Ronaldo is the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history, with the Portuguese star aged 33 years and 130 days when netted his treble against Spain – the previous record holder was Rob Rensenbrink in 1978 for Netherlands against Iran (30 years, 335 days).
10 – Mexico’s Rafael Marquez also became the oldest outfield player to start a World Cup knockout match since 1954, at age 39 years, 139 days. Stanley Matthews (39years, 145 days) in 1954 for England v Uruguay was the last player to achieve that feat.11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. DOWNLOAD NOW!!!