Back then, Didier Deschamps was the captain.
Croatia, however, were always major outsiders.
Sunday's match won't be the first time a team making its finals debut takes on a team that has already won world football's biggest prize. France take on Croatia in what promises to be an absorbing contest where the victor goes home with the 18-carat gold trophy and the tag of world champions for the next four years. Croatia is the underdog at +350, while a draw in regulation returns +230.
"We have prepared them as best we can".
The France team were adamant that the Croatia attacker had handled, however, protesting to the officials to review the play via VAR.
Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina was a standout performance in the group stage.
The second model evaluates the quality of the players on both teams. This model captures the nuances of team selection, which can vary significantly in worldwide football. They have played three consecutive extra-times and will turn up at the Luzhniki Stadium not afraid of anything other than an early onset of exhausted legs. We have to leave emotions aside and give more than we've given on the pitch in the previous matches because it's the cup final.
France manager Didier Deschamps shows faith in the same starting line-up that saw them overcome Belgium 1-0 in St Petersburg on Tuesday night.
France are the established power with a young team full of speed and skill.
Giroud's goal drought in Russian Federation disguises the fact that he is actually equal fourth on the list of all-time scorers for France, tied with none other than Zinedine Zidane on 31 goals. Deschamps, however, is very unlikely to change a winning team, especially after defending so resolutely against Belgium.
FIFA World Cup 2018 is all set to wrap up after one final match between France and Croatia. They have managed to qualify after extra-time three times in a row. If we take a look at the bettings, the odds are stacked against Croatia.
Croatia equalized 10 minutes later, coming back from a goal down in a fourth straight knockout match in Russian Federation.
The 2018 World Cup final kicks off this afternoon when France and Croatia face each other for a place in the history books.
Croatia starts Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida in central defence, with Sime Vrsaljko on the right and Ivan Strinic on the left. Croatia eked into the field as one of the last European teams to qualify, then ripped through its group before surviving an unprecedented run of three straight extra-time matches. Going to extra-time might be a problem along with the fact France have had an extra day to recover but there will be no excuses. The over-under for total goals scored in the 2018 World Cup finals is 2.
Croatia then went on to play in three consecutive extra time games, coming out victorious with penalty kicks against Denmark and Russian Federation before toppling England in 120 minutes in the semi-finals. Both teams were very almost not here.