France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow’s ‘electrifying’ Luzhniki stadium to lift the trophy for the second time in 20 years – they last won the World Cup trophy in 1998 when they had their golden generation of trailblazers in their squad with the likes of legendary players Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry leading the team.
‘Les Blues’ have received a whopping 38 million USD, which is approximately 255 Crores in Indian rupees.
And although Croatia could win the title, their determination, passion and never give up attitude won hearts all across the globe.
Here are five lessons we learnt from the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup:
1) Fans need to be patient with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) – The video assistant referee came under rigorous scrutiny for certain decisions throughout the World Cup, for some it did not “live up to its expectations.” But it needs to be understood that it is a new technology – one which has never been tried or tested at a major football competition before. There will a learning curve over time, which is imperative for the VAR to get the traction it can get and develop with amendments in technology over time. It’s difficult to argue that it’s not better than the previous technology – where basically, there was no technology to double check errors and wrongly called decisions. The fans need to be patient before we can manage to use VAR to the best potential in the coming years, all the VAR really needs, is it’s sweet time and trust us, it’ll be just fine.
2) The term “Favourites” does not mean jack in the beautiful game – True, isn’t? Ask the Germans, Spaniards or the Argentines for that matter… They will tell you! South Korea defeated Germany- the now former champions two-nil, to eliminate them from the tournament. Spain was defeated by host nation Russia- they were also the lowest ranking participating nation in the FIFA tournament. Also, Croatia was in the finals, does it get any better? This is the beautiful game, where a club like Leicester City can send the giant clubs off for a run for all their money and world-class players. How can we talk about underdogs and not mention Leicester City?
3) Kylian Mbappe- future Balon’dor winner? – He scored four in the tournament, he scored in the finals to become the youngest footballer since legendary Pele to do so, he has already won the French league twice, he won the ‘Best Young Player of the Tournament’ and now he has already won the World Cup. He is 19 years old! let’s take a minute and recall what we were up to when we were 19! Nah! Naah, forget it. Anyway, moving on! The lads gotta bright future. Rumours also emerged linking him with a move to Real Madrid, and the transfer season is still on- let’s wait and see if that goes through.
4) Messi and Ronaldo are STILL the MVPs of the game – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have not been able to lift the World Cup trophy yet. Despite their impressive tally of the contribution of goals and assists for their respective nations and clubs( both are all-time leading scorers for both club and country) and winning the 5 Ballon d’Or’s (World’s Best Footballer Of The Year) in their bag.
They have both scored numerous goals and won many titles for their respective clubs. But, winning World Cup titles for the country is completely different from winning titles in a franchise-based league-or at least that is the popular belief to define greatness in sports. The status of being the best comes with the scrutiny of how much can they single-handedly carry a team and win trophies for their respective countries often associating them with unrealistic expectations that cannot be attained by any one player, no matter how supremely gifted or talented they are, but a team of 11 men.
When players consistently perform beyond realistic expectations – like winning Ballon’Dor 5 times- There comes a flip side- to be seen as godly figures and always go beyond expectations- to always single-handedly carry their teams and their nation.
5) England has a bright future: England reached the semifinals of the tournament for the first time since 1990-when the team was managed by Sir Bobby Charlton. The Three Lions are now laden by young and bright players and they have at their resources one of the best strikers in the planet, if not the best, in skipper Harry Kane. Head coach Gareth Southgate finally looks like the man England have been looking for to lead the team. They will now look to go all out in the Euros 2020 tournament.