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France player ratings as Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe earn 8s in World Cup final win

Matt Jones rates the France players following their 4-2 triumph over Croatia in the World Cup final

Matt Jones 2018/07/15

France are world champions for the second time after surging to a 4-2 win over Croatiain a scintillating World Cup final.

In a final that produced quality when we perhaps expected caution, Mario Mandzukic’s own goal opened the scoring. Ivan Perisic’s thunderous equaliser was merited, but he then gave away the penalty from which Antoine Griezmann restored Les Bleus’ lead.

They pulled away through Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe goals in the second half, although Hugo Lloris’ inexplicable error gifted Mandzukic a goal at the other end as Croatia made things interesting.

But Didier Deschamps’ side held on as he joined Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer as the only three players to win the the World Cup as both player and coach.

Here we rate the French players:

FRANCE (4-4-2)

Hugo Lloris – 4:

What on earth was going through his mind? With France cruising his horrible blunder gave Croatia hope. Lucky his side were comfortable.

Benjamin Pavard – 6:

That the centre-back has performed admirably at right-back deserves to be applauded. Stoic and strong, but struggled to deal with Perisic. Five clearances for France was joint second most.

Raphael Varane – 7:

Calm and assured to continue his fine tournament. Adds the World Cup to an awesome list of accolades no 25-year-old should realistically possess.

Samuel Umtiti – 6:

Alert and aware, impressive amid Croatia’s late onslaught. Seven clearances led his side as did 87 per cent pass accuracy (among starters).

Lucas Hernandez – 7:

Hasn’t had a great tournament but his run to set up Mbappe was brilliant. Two dribbles trailed only Mbappe.

Kylian Mbappe – 8:

Youngest goalscorer in a World Cup final since Pele 60 years ago. Was a constant threat all evening. Goal capped an excellent month.

Paul Pogba – 7:

Pogba showed up to the party with the killer third, starting the move that led to it with a sublime pass to Mbappe. More tackles (4) than any Frenchman.

N’Golo Kante – 5:

Been a revelation in Russia, but struggled to shackle Croatia’s runners from midfield. Foul on Perisic led to the equaliser.

Blaise Matuidi – 5:

Looked leggy after an impressive tournament. Withdrawn early in the second half and looked exhausted.

Antoine Griezmann – 8:

Dangerous free-kick had to be dealt with and led to the opening goal. Scored the second from the spot coolly. Quietly brilliant between the lines.

Olivier Giroud – 3:

Anonymous. Amazingly, another game without a shot on target. But he now has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name.

SUBS:

Stephen N’Zonzi – 6:

Surprisingly replaced Kante but his introduction helped France get a grip on the game.

Corentin Tolisso – 6:

Brought on to contain Croatia’s craft in the second half.

Nabil Fekir – N/A

France’s third substitution late on to try and inject some pace and stretch Croatia.

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