So finally it has come to an end. The World Cup extravaganza which lasted a whole month threw a lot of surprises at us. Many of the pre-tournament favourites went out early. The big names fell by the wayside. Everyone who was calling for Ronaldo or Messi to own this World Cup was left disappointed. Most people had tipped Brazil to take home the trophy (Admittedly, that includes us!). But they fell well short, same with defending champions Germany. There were upsets everywhere. The so-called smaller footballing nations were thriving. Remarkably, England were doing well under Gareth Southgate! Amidst all this chaos, one team has reigned supreme – Les Blues. So let’s take a look at the 3 reasons why France lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
1) Pragmatic Approach
Since the day they played their first match, it was quite evident that France would use all their experience and play in a pragmatic manner. This displeased a lot of fans, but ultimately it’s the medal around the neck that matters. They were cautious in midfield and defended well throughout the tournament, apart from the final itself. Whenever they got a chance on the counter, they utilized it fully. This was the base of their success. Nobody can deny the fact that they were supremely lethal on the attack and finished off teams well.
2) Kante Stop Him!
What more can be said about Ngolo Kante? The guy has been touted as someone who plays like two players and that is the truth! He was absolutely instrumental in France being able to win the ball back. He was also the key for Paul Pogba to have a good tournament. He allowed Pogba to get forward and did all the dirty work himself. This provided much needed balance to the French side. Kante was ever present and made sure that most counter attacks against France fizzled out. He was the vital cog in this side.
3) Marvellous Mbappe
Kante did very well in this tournament. But that is what we expect from him. One player which surprised us all and finally showed his true worth is Kylian Mbappe. The 19 year old played some fantastic football in this tournament. His goals were sheer class and he also created a number of chances for his team-mates. Mbappe proved that his hefty price tag in club football is totally worth it. He showed that he has the ability to become a really special player in the future. He has a certain swagger about him which resembles Pele, although it is too early to make any such comparisons!
To sum up, France were able to go all the way since they played as a cohesive unit. They were well coached by Didier Deschamps who got his tactics right. The strategy of playing this way worked wonders. He also utilized his substitutes very well. The midfield combination of Pogba and Kante reigned supreme. And adding to that was the sublime partnership between Griezmann and Mbappe. Overall, France have proved that they could be the team to beat in the years to come!