Teamwork has triumphed over individual brilliance in the tournament so it is right that the finalists best represent that shift
France v Croatia is a surprising final but also a good reflection of this World Cup. After all it has been a tournament full of surprises in which we have seen that a different type of football is required to succeed, one based on team work and sticking to the basic principles over a reliance on individual players and moments. France and Croatia have best represented that shift; neither has sparkled but they have been consistent and hard-working and hence they will do battle on Sunday for the ultimate prize.
France are rightly favourites to win what would be their second world title. They are the complete team – solid at the back, well-balanced in midfield and able to play with real flair in attack. But they have not done that often during this tournament due to the manager’s low-risk policy and seeming desire to do no more than what is required to win the game in front of him.