France have broken Croatian hearts to win one of the most dramatic finals in World Cup history.
France is rejoicing in a new generation of footballing heroes after Les Bleus defeated Croatia 4-2 in a stunning final success in Moscow.
Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba fired France to their second World Cup triumph on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium, 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.
Much like the past month, the final had everything.
Amidst the Parisian next-gen pair’s fine goals and Ivan Perisic’s thunderbolt, there was a first own goal in 21 finals, a VAR-confirmed penalty and a goalkeeping blunder which handed Croatia a late lifeline.
Crashes of thunder and the occasional downpour only added to the occasion, already the biggest stage in sport.
Even notorious artist-activist group Pussy Riot got in on the act, stopping play in the second half after masterminding a pitch invasion to protest political repression in host nation Russia.
But on full-time, it was the French players joyously running laps of the pitch, tricolour in hand, after winning back the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
The victory was all the sweeter for the French after the European Championships two years ago, which they lost 1-0 to underdogs Portugal.
On this evidence and the youth of the swashbuckling French champions, this side just might dominate international football for years to come.
Led by a man-of-the-match performance by Antoine Griezmann, France weathered early Croatian attacks before scoring with their first effort of the match.
Griezmann sent a free kick, dubiously won, into no-man’s land on 18 minutes, which Mario Mandzukic nodded into his own net.
Perisic responded, winning a free kick that he would eventually score from.
The indefatigable Luka Modric’s floated ball fell to the left winger, who turned N’Golo Kante to thrash home with a deflection from Raphael Varane.
The star Croatian turned villain ten minutes after his goal, hand balling clumsily in the box which saw referee Nestor Pintana award France a spot-kick for Griezmann to dispatch.
In the 20 minutes after the break, France transformed into world champions.
Mbappe showed his deadly pace in a right-wing breakaway, pulling back for Griezmann who found Pogba to score on the second attempt.
Then came the 19-year-old’s moment, following Pele as just the second teenager to score in a World Cup final.
Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic looked unable to get down to save Mbappe’s effort as France steamrolled the underdogs.
Croatia went the distance to defeat dismissed Denmark, hosts Russia and England through the knockout stage and they had a foothold on another unlikely recovery when French captain Hugo Lloris cleared straight into Mandzukic to make the score 4-2.
When they needed to find another gear in the final 20 minutes, the task was simply too tough.
Russian president Vladimir Putin and FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino presented the victorious French with their winners’ medals in torrential rain before the players celebrated by sliding across the drenched pitch.
The victory makes Deschamps, captain of the France’s victorious 1998 side, the third man to win the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.