Celebrating French players crash coach's post-match press conference

Didier Deschamps Manager of France celebrates victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final against Croatia_Getty

Kylian Mbappe wasted time in France's win over Belgium - Thomas Meunier

France's progress to the deciding game in Moscow against Croatia has kept alive interest for Africa with the diverse and multi-cultured French squad not only representing the heterogeneity of the country but also an African diaspora that is a hotbed of footballing talent.

Such talk has led to inevitable comparisons with 1998 when France last won the World Cup, celebrating diversity with its "Black, Blanc, Beur" (Black, White, north African) team led by Zinedine Zidane. Though the stats sheets will not remember them, they contributed in other, more subtle ways.

It wasn't a particularly good deal for Real Madrid, but it's an example of how one magical World Cup can change a player's career.

Deschamps said 14 of his players were World Cup newcomers but were ready to work towards a common goal and were mentally more mature than their age.

The 19-year-old Mbappe became only the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final, helping France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday.

DESCHAMPS: A natural born leader who captained teams before coaching them, the 49-year-old Deschamps has France pulling in the same direction.

"Being world champions is symbolic", Benoit Bardet, a young IT consultant from the area near the St Martin canal, told AFP.

According to local police, nearly 50,000 people gathered in Ban Jelacic and as kick-off approached, it was impossible to find a place to stand. Is Trump a closet football fan? The statue of the horse man woke up on Sunday with a new checkerboard cape.

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Alexis Ohanian , co-founder of Reddit , watched as wife Williams played on Centre Court. "Congrats again for coming back". Men's semifinals: Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), 3-6, 10-8, completion of suspended match.

The national team strip has been selling out across the country in the run up to the final, and chefs and bakers have been getting into the atmosphere, producing cakes and specialties in red, white and blue to honor the team.

Neville conceded Zlatko Dalic's side had a right to feel aggrieved but said the final felt like a mismatch in the end.

After five minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew.

On the challenge Croatia's midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will pose France at the Luzhniki Stadium, Deschamps said: "Yes, it's true Croatia has players with strong club experiences and who have reached a level of maturity on the pitch together, but we have met teams with more experience than us all through the tournament".

Croatia were unjustly penalized for a perceived offense. The crowd started singing songs after the final whistle.

"Sometimes I can be hard very hard with them but I do it for them and even though they are young they usually do listen". "They are defiant and very proud to have taken part".

Thousands of Croat fans are expected to come to the main Zagreb square in the early afternoon when the players are due to arrive.

Fans have been snapping up team jerseys, with the "authentic" Nike version repeatedly selling out despite its 160 euro ($185) price tag.

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