Didier Deschamps became only the third man in World Cup history after Mario Zagallo (1962, 1970) and Franz Beckenbauer (1974, 1990) to win the tournament both as a player and manager when his French gendarmes overcame Croatian hard fighters 4-2 in the joint second highest scoring final in history.
On an epoch making night, Les Bleus skipper Hugo Lloris joined an elite club of custodians including Italy’s Dino Zoff (1982) and Spain’s Iker Casillas (2010) who have captained their teams to the game’s ultimate prize.
An early pointer that France would follow up their 1998 triumph with a second triumph came when veteran Croatian forward Mario Madzukic flicked an Antoine Griezmann free kick into Danijel Subasic’s net for Russia 2018’s twelfth own goal.
Even though Zlatko Dalic’s side responded not long through Ivan Perisic, Croatia found themselves 2-1 down at halftime thanks to ill-fortune.
Perisic was until then the finals standout player when he inexplicably handled a 38th minute corner kick for referee Nestor Pitana to award a penalty after consulting the Video Assistant Referees (VAR).
Antoine Griezmann converted the resultant spot kick for his fourth goal of the showpiece event, extending his enviable record of never being on a losing French side when he has scored.
Tournament silver ball winner Kylian Lottin Mbappe was a constant menace after the interval and created Les Bleus’ third for Paul Pogba after a mazy run down the right hand channel.
Mbappe soon confirmed his stature as the heir apparent to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with a fierce right foot drive past Subasic for France’s fourth.
Although a late Lloris goalkeeping error allowed Madzukic to pull one back for Croatia, France’s defence, excellently marshalled by Samuel Umtiti, and enjoying protection from substitutes Steven Nzonzi and Corentin Tolisso held on for a memorable victory.
Champagne flowed freely at the Champs Elysée, Clairfontaine, Clement and several African capitals as a continent toasted to the success of the continent’s diaspora. For over half of France’s world champions are of African descent.