As if losing a World Cup final wasn’t bad enough, Mario Mandzukic is now in the record books for all the wrong reasons.
The Juventus forward became the first player to score an own goal in a World Cup final after inadvertently deflecting an Antoine Griezmann free kick into his own net for Les Bleus ‘ opener at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
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As Griezmann’s free kick was floated into the box, Mandzukic rose highest, but could only make slight contact and that diverted the ball away from the grasp of Danijel Subasic into the back of the net.
Mandzukic managed to grab a regulation goal of his own after he capitalised on an unbelievable howler from French keeper Huge Lloris to give Croatia a sniff of a miracle comeback late in the game.
But the goal only added to Mandzukic’s unwanted history, as he also became the first player to score for both teams in a World Cup final.
Interestingly, Russia 2018 has actually been a record tournament in terms of own goals, with Mandzukic’s unfortunate deflection taking the overall tally of goals scored in the wrong net to 12.
Remarkably, that figure is double the previous record, which was set 20 years ago at the 1998 World Cup in France, where six own goals were scored.
France is now rejoicing in a new generation of footballing heroes after Les Bleus won 4-2 in a stunning final success in Moscow.
Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba fired France to their second World Cup triumph, 20 years after their first win on home soil.
The most celebrated tournament in a generation enjoyed a coronating final, the highest-scoring decider since 1966.