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Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Putin says Russia can be proud of organizing soccer World Cup

Putin says Russia can be proud of organizing soccer World Cup

"You should never give up".

Here are the players of France getting their medals, while greeting Putin, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, French president Emmanuel Macron and Croatia president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

"We will realize what has happened tomorrow", he said after his players stormed the news conference twice to douse him with champagne.

The Croatia players were given a standing ovation by their fans after taking the game to the French for the entire 90 minutes, dominating much of the match but falling to an own goal, a penalty awarded by VAR and two second-half strikes.

France coach Didier Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach.

"Me, I'm French of Moroccan origin and I'm proud of it, proud to show that I'm not a thug, proud to make my country joyous like that", he said.

Croatia rallied to equalize on a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic, but France took the lead right back when Perisic handled the ball in the area. Their progress to the final gripped the imagination of the Balkan nation and members of the Croatian diaspora living in countries from Germany to Australia.

Prior to the final match notable American music star Will Smith joined other celebrities to sing the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup theme song "LiveItUp" at the Luzhniki Stadium.

"I feel like we're number one, even though we lost", said Zeljko Brnjas who moved to Canada from Croatia in 1962.

In the early hours of Monday morning French and Croatian football fans rugged up in their respective colours with game faces painted on to cheer their teams to victory. "We came back to life, dominated and then the penalty was given", Dalic said.

France's win on Sunday was its first in 20 years, after winning on its home turf in 1998.

Of the four goals France scored against Croatia, two were scored by the sons of African immigrants - Paul Pogba, whose parents immigrated from Guinea, and Kylian Mbappe whose mother is Algerian and father is Cameroonian.

After France's win, US President Donald Trump sent his congratulations.

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