Heroes And Villains Of The World Cup: The End

That was a really ridiculous World Cup final. After getting extra time and a total of four goals at the last three World Cup finals, the 2018 event was a bit of magic theater. (“Not for everybody.”)

Shameful dives, disastrous own goals, contentious handballs/use of VAR, horrendous goalkeeping, set pieces, never say die attitudes, blistering Kylian Mbappe pace and a couple really good goals — this final was just a microcosm of the 2018 World Cup.  

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Heroes and Villains of the World Cup: The End

Hero: Paul Pogba (France)

With N’Golo Kante earning a booking in the 27th minute and getting hooked in the 55th, Pogba had to do it all for France. Just like the Belgium match, Pogba put in an absolute shift on the defensive side of the ball — he led France in both tackles (four) and interceptions (two). 

Les Bleus didn’t have much of the ball and Pogba only completed 30 passes, but he played an instrumental role in both starting and finishing the third goal, which turned out to be the match-winner. 

And we all called it a “tough” year for Pogba. The Internet is full of clowns.

Honorable mention: Didier Deschamps (France)

Deschamps delivered France its second World Cup title by getting the most from the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, but he should also be praised for putting his trust in Kylian Mbappe (19), Benjamin Pavard (22), Lucas Hernandez (22) and Corentin Tolisso (23).  

Villain: Danijel Subasic (Croatia)

A lot of people are questioning the fitness of Subasic after the keeper stayed rooted to the spot on long-range second half goals from Pogba and Mbappe. Neither of the shots flew into the corner, and while Subasic might’ve been slightly screened on Mbappe’s, he just looked slow and flat-footed on both. 

In the end, Subasic recorded three saves and allowed four goals. Not a great day at the office. 

Honorable mention: Ante Rebic (Croatia)

This is more on me, but I thought Rebic was primed for a decisive game going up against Blaise Matuidi and Lucas Hernandez. However, he looked exhausted, particularly in the second half. He’s been one of the tournament’s revelations, but the final was probably his worst game. 

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