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July 15, 2018: When Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium hosts the FIFA World Cup 2018 finals

The Luzhniki stadium is illuminated prior to the upcoming World Cup final between France and Croatia in Moscow on July 12, 2018.

The Luzhniki stadium is illuminated prior to the upcoming World Cup final between France and Croatia in Moscow on July 12, 2018.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Of the 32 teams which had qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018, France and Croatia will play the final on on July 15, 2018 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. While France won the World Cup in 1998, it is the first time Croatia has reached this stage. With a population of 4.1 million, it is the second-least populated country ever to play a final. Only Uruguay, which won in 1930 and 1950, have fewer people. Croatia have been forced into extra time in each of their three knockout matches, edging Denmark and hosts Russia on post-match penalties before scoring late in added play to beat England in the semi-final. France, by contrast, have won all of their matches since the round of 16 inside 90 minutes. Ahead of the clash, France’s Paul Pogba said they are rejecting the favourites tag. Croatia may be exhausted but led by midfielder wizard Luka Modric, they will play the biggest match of their lives against a French side bursting with youth like Kylian Mbappe.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 10:14:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/july-15-2018-when-moscows-luzhniki-stadium-hosts-fifa-world-cup-2018/article24421084.ece

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