France crowned Football World Cup champions after demolition of Croatia in final

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of the 2018 Football World Cup final from Moscow, Russia.


Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron present the trophy to France captain Hugo Lloris, who naturally celebrates in style with his teammates. That'll be all from our coverage of the Football World Cup, thank you for joining us these last four weeks. We'll almost certainly be back in four years time, when Qatar host the tournament.


The heavens have opened over Moscow! The players and FIFA dignitaries, along with the French and Croatian heads of state are now completely drenched.


The quartet of match officials are also honoured for their work in the final. The runners-up Croatians are welcomed onto the stage to receive their silver medals.


After some lengthy celebrations, France are finally ready to lift the trophy. Kylian Mbappe is awarded the young player of the tournament for his stunning display throughout the World Cup.

Luka Modric is named the winner of the golden ball for the best player. England's Harry Kane is the winner of the golden boot, with six goals to his name. Thibaut Courtois of Belgium wins the golden glove for the best goalkeeper.

4:53am: FULLTIME - France 4 Croatia 2

That's it! France are the champions of the world once again! Croatia are beaten finalists but can hold their heads high! Les Bleus celebrate in style, they've been the best on display throughout Russia, and take the cup home as a result.

4:50am: 90+2 mins - France 4 Croatia 2

Pogba and Mbappe stride forward again, this time they don't look for goal, simply just holding possession to try and run the clock down.

4:48am: 90 mins - France 4 Croatia 2

Croatia really desperate now, with everyone forward. Vida up from centre back onto the left wing finds Rakitic, who shoots - well over the bar from distance though. Word is that we'll have five minutes added time.

4:44am: 86 mins - France 4 Croatia 2

Into the final 10 minutes and Croatia still searching for goals. Pjaca, on as a sub, tries to exchange passes with Vrsaljko, but the right back isn't on the same page as the ball goes out for a goal kick.

4:37am: 78 mins - France 4 Croatia 2

Chance for Croatia now! Kramaric beats his man on the left, before finding Rakitic inside him. The midfielder's shot rolls agonisingly past the post. Croatia have now had 14 shots to France's seven.

4:34am: 75 mins - France 4 Croatia 2

Vrsaljko and Perisic combine down the right, but Varane clears the danger with the header. Strinic now has a go down the left, but again France clear. Vrsaljko tries to shoot from deep, but Lloris watches it out untroubled.

4:27am: 69 mins - France 4 Croatia 2

GOAL!!! Croatia get one back! Lloris is caught napping on the ball, and Mandzukic appears to close him down, blocking his attempted clearance and diverting it goalward. What a final.

4:24am: 66 mins - France 4 Croatia 1

GOAL!!! France are on FIRE! Mbappe scores a fourth for France. Hernandez comes in from the left, before finding the teenager unmarked through the middle. Mbappe takes a touch, before firing a rocket past the shellshocked Subasic. Mbappe becomes the youngest to score in a World Cup final since Pele himself!

4:18am: 60 mins - France 3 Croatia 1

GOAL!!! Surely that seals it for France! Pogba plays Mbappe down the right hand side, he cuts back in before finding Griezmann. Griezmann finds Pogba again, before his shot is blocked. The rebound falls nicely for Pogba, who lashes in the second attempt. Croatia with a mountain to climb.

4:13am: 55 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

Rakitic crosses in for Mandzukic, but Lloris comes out to punch away - only he makes a hash of it to force the ball out for a Croatian corner. 

4:11am: 53 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

Pogba plays Mbappe clean through down the right and he's too quick for Strinic! Subasic saves the shot and Croatia hit back - only now there's a pitch invasion!

Slight delay in play now as the intruders a cleared. Croatia restart.

4:06am: 48 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

Chance for Croatia to start the second half! Rakitic plays Rebic through the middle, he gets a shot away and Lloris reaches out at full stretch to tip it over the bar. Corner for Croatia.

Modric takes, but the ball doesn't drop cleanly for Vida. France out of danger.

4:04am: 46 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

France get the second half started, they're now just 45 minutes away from their second ever World Cup win.

3:48am: HALFTIME - France 2 Croatia 1

What a half. Croatia have by far had the better opportunities, yet France are ahead through an own goal and a penalty. We'll be back soon for the resumption of this thrilling World Cup final.

3:45am: 45 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

Umtiti limps from the field, we're going to have three minutes of added time as Rakitic stands over the corner. He takes, but the ball misses everyone and goes behind for a goal kick.

3:44am: 44 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

Free kick for Croatia in the France half. Modric takes and finds Perisic who heads it down for Lovren, his shot hammers off Pavard and out for a corner. Umtiti turns it behind for another corner.

Rakitic takes again, but Giroud clears. Umtiti stays down for France, but Croatia play on before Pavard sends the ball out for a corner.

3:39am: 39 mins - France 2 Croatia 1

GOAL!!! Corner for France, won by Giroud. Griezmann to take again, Matuidi storms into the area but puts the header wide. France are pleading for handball against Perisic - and they have a serious claim there!

We're going to the VAR for the first time in a World Cup final. The penalty has been given and Croatia are livid! Griezmann will take the spot kick.

He goes bottom left, and he scores!!! France hit the front once again!

3:28am: 28 mins - France 1 Croatia 1

GOAL!!! Perisic breaks again, this time through the middle, but Kante takes him out. The France midfielder becomes the first player booked in the World Cup final as Croatia have a free kick.

Modric and Rakitic stand over it. Modric floats it to the far post where Vrsaljko heads to Mandzukic, who nods it back down to Perisic. The winger takes a touch before belting it home in style! Croatia are level!!!

3:21am: 21 mins - France 1 Croatia 0

Croatia with the chance to equalise from a free kick, wide on the right. Modric stands over it and curls the ball into the box, but Vida's header is over the bar.

3:19am: 19 mins - France 1 Croatia 0

GOAL!!! First real opportunity for France as Mbappe dances into the area. His attempted pullback is cleared by Vida out to Griezmann, but he's bought down by Brozovic to win France a free kick.

Griezmann to take, everyone except Kante and Lloris appear to be in the box - it's in! France open the scoring but Mandzukic has put it into his own net!

3:15am: 15 mins - France 0 Croatia 0

Perisic breaks down the left again! Croatia with a real chance now, but the cross is blocked out by Varane! France living dangerously at the moment!

3:11am: 11 mins - France 0 Croatia 0

Chance for Croatia! Rakitic goes over the top for Perisic, but the winger can't control the ball as it goes out for a goal kick. All Croatia so far.

3:08am: 8 mins - France 0 Croatia 0

Just like in their semi-final win over Belgium, France don't seem to concerned over giving away early possession. Strinic wins a throw down the left flank, and plays a one-two with Rakitic. Strinic wins a corner as Pogba blocks his attempted cross.

Modric to take, Giroud clears with a header away for another Croatia throw.

3:03am: 3 mins - France 0 Croatia 0

Perisic steals the ball from Pavard and breaks down the left. Varane and Umtiti get back to cover but Croatia have a throw in. The ball is held up by Mandzukic, before Mbappe clears any trouble for France.

3:00am: KICKOFF - France 0 Croatia 0

We're away! Croatia kick off to get the World Cup final underway!


Both sides now in the tunnel, they'll be out onto the pitch shortly as the trophy is delivered by Phillip Lahm, who captained Germany to the title in 2014.


Here are the final starting XIs:

France (4-2-3-1): 1. Hugo Lloris (c, gk), 2. Benjamin Pavard, 4. Raphael Varane, 5. Samuel Umtiti, 21. Lucas Hernandez, 13. N'Golo Kanté, 6. Paul Pogba, 10. Kylian Mbappe, 7. Antoine Griezmann, 14. Blaise Matuidi, 9. Olivier Giroud.

Croatia (4-3-3): 23. Danijel Subasic (gk), 2. Sime Vrsaljko, 6. Dejan Lovren, 21. Domagoj Vida, 3. Ivan Strinic, 7. Ivan Rakitic, 11. Marcelo Brozovic, 18. Ante Rebic, 10. Luka Modric (c), 4 Ivan Perisic, 17. Mario Mandzukic.


Here we are. From 32 teams, only France and Croatia remain, both looking to get their hands on the Jules Rimmet trophy.

For Les Bleus, they'll be looking for their first trophy since 1998, while Croatia can win football's ultimate prize for the first time in their history.

We'll have final teams for you shortly.



Wellington Phoenix confirm signing of attacking midfielder Max Burgess

The Wellington Phoenix have stepped up their recruitment drive ahead of the new A-League season, signing Australian attacking midfielder Max Burgess.

Burgess, 23, joins the Nix on a one-year deal, coming off the back of a season having won the NSW National Premier League with Sydney Olympic FC, scoring seven goals in 27 appearances.

"I am extremely excited to be signing with the Wellington Phoenix and I am determined to make my mark with my new team," Burgess said in a statement.

"When I heard of the interest, I jumped at the chance and with the encouragement I have received from Mark Rudan, I can't wait to get started."

Coach Rudan spoke of his delight at securing Burgess' signature, with the versatile attacker having impressed against the Phoenix in pre-season.

"He has tasted Hyundai A-League experience before, but I feel he has plenty more to show," Rudan said.

"I'm looking forward to having his attributes and his hard work ethic within the squad."

Burgess has represented both Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets previously in the A-League.

New Phoenix signing Max Burgess
New Phoenix signing Max Burgess Source: Getty



Olympic champion Usain Bolt set to start in Mariners final trial game

Usain Bolt believes Friday's trial match could determine his future with the Central Coast Mariners.

Bolt is expected to start for the first time since arriving at the A-League club in August in the hope of beginning a professional soccer career.

"This is going to be a big game. I think it will determine if the club makes up its mind on what to do with my career," said Bolt of the match against a select Macarthur South West United team.

After being used as a winger in his first brief trial appearance in late August, the retired track great hinted at a positional change for the match at Sydney's Campbelltown Stadium.

Not only has coach Mike Mulvey raised the prospect of starting with Bolt, but also deploying him further up the pitch in the frontline.

With Mulvey likely to play a strong line-up, Bolt is keen to show how much improvement he has made by working with the first team.
"(Mulvey) said he wants to play me up top more," Bolt said.

"The couple of games that I played, I didn't play with the first team.

"There's a few first-team boys in the team for Friday. So I'll get different service, better service, because they're more seasoned and more mature.

"So he just told me to make sure I'm focused and push myself, and I'll just take the chances when I get them."

Bolt has undergone one-on-one sessions on top of the team's training program in a bid to fast-track his development.

And the 32-year-old is taking his first run-on start as an indication that the coaching staff are pleased by the progress he has made with his conditioning and touch.

"That's always a good step, when coaches are satisfied with the fitness to put me in the starting line-up. That's always a big step," Bolt said.

"I can say I've been improving, (but) you won't know what level you're at until you actually play a competitive game.

"I've just got to go out there and play and see what I need to do or if I should continue if not. I'm just pushing myself, I think I've put in a lot of work.

"Now it's just to go out there and execute."

The Mariners open their A-League season against the Brisbane Roar on Sunday week.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt Source: Photosport



TVNZ FC video podcast: Chaos inside NZ Football and it's tight at the top in the Premier League

TVNZ FC is back once again, and what a week of football it's been.

Special guest 1 NEWS Sport's Michelle Prendiville joins the boys for an inside look into the chaotic end to Andreas Heraf's reign as Football Ferns coach.

We ponder why the All Whites aren't up to anything during this month's international break.

Jose Mourinho survives for another week in charge of Manchester United, coming back from the brink to defeat winless Newcastle.

Meanwhile Manchester City blow the chance to assert themselves as the Premier League's front-runners.

The pressure's starting to mount in the Spanish capital, are Julen Lopetegui's days in charge of Real Madrid numbered?

And one of the world's great defenders calls it quits, but how will John Terry be remembered for his antics off the pitch?

Chris Chang leads TVNZ's football aficionados for another week's action. Source: 1 NEWS


'Probably a good chance' - Mariners coach hints at starting Usain Bolt in club's next trial game

Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey admits he's considering starting Usain Bolt in Friday's trial against a Macarthur South West United team.

Mulvey on Tuesday revealed Bolt was rested from training duties last week as he recovered from a minor knee injury.

However the Jamaican superstar is back at peak fitness and is set to be given more than the 20 minutes in his first public appearance in late August.

"From a fitness perspective, you could probably start him. Whether we do or not, (there's) probably a good chance," Mulvey told reporters on Tuesday.

"But we'll weigh it up as the week goes. Last week we rested him a little bit because he had a bit of a knee injury, but that's all gone.
"The rest helped him with that."

After allowing Bolt to take a week off last month, the club upped his program to include one-on-one sessions with former Mariners captain Nick Montgomery.

But while pleased with Bolt's improvement in his physical condition, Mulvey conceded the former Olympic and world sprint champion lacked match fitness.

He compared his progress to that of defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis, who is on the comeback from a knee reconstruction.

Aspropotamitis only begun non-contact training with the main group this week, and has struggled to keep pace with his teammates.

"Nothing (Jonathan) did before really readied for him for when there's pressure on and people running past him," Mulvey said.

"Usain's in the same situation because he needs to learn all that and be able to do repeat efforts, because in football nowadays, you've got to be able to do something which is okay good, but then you need to repeat.

"Particularly to play in wide areas, we're looking at our players overlapping or wingers coming inside. He needs to be able to repeat.

"That's where we're at with the journey as far as he's concerned. He'll play on Friday night and I think we'll see how long he lasts and go from there."

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt Source: Photosport