Croatia fans look past numbers for a date with history

Global Business

One of the most compelling World Cups of the modern era comes to an end on Sunday July 15.

Croatia and France play in Moscow for the ultimate prize in football.

On paper, it may look like David and Goliath.

But this World Cup has been all about smaller footballing powers causing big upsets.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough compares the numbers.

The World Cup final pits France, one of the biggest countries in the game against Croatia, one of the smallest.

And if this World Cup final were just about the numbers, France v Croatia would be a mismatch.

France’s population is just over 67 million, Croatia’s just over 4 million.

France is a leading western economy worth 2.5 trillion dollars.

Croatia’s economic output is just 54 billion.

But fortunately for Croatia’s fans, they know these kinds of numbers are less important once this final kicks off.

Croatia has arguably the best midfield in this tournament led by one of the greatest playmakers ever – Real Madrid star Luka Modric.

At 32, he’s approaching the twilight of his career and worth an estimated 30 million dollars.

That’s substantially less than France’s Kylian Mbappe.

He may be only 19, but he’s said to be worth more than 142 million dollars and likely to inspire a bidding war by the world’s top clubs after his displays in Russia.

But if this final looks like an unlikely match-up, is it fated?

Croatia finished third in the 1998 World Cup after being eliminated in the semi-finals by host France, who went on to lift the trophy for the first time.

Croatia is smallest country to reach World Cup final since 1950

Belgium has claimed third place in the World Cup, beating England two-nil. Now, all eyes are on the final match Sunday: Croatia versus France.
CGTN’s Dan Williams has more from Moscow.