Antoine Griezmann was the star of the show as he inspired another multinational France team to their second ever World Cup title on a fine evening in Moscow.
A free kick from the Atletico Madrid star was diverted into his own net by Mario Mandzukic for the final’s opening goal before Griezmann scored from the penalty spot to restore the French side’s lead after Ivan Perisic had levelled matters.
Griezmann, himself of dual nationality spoke glowingly about the unity in the team in spite of their different origins.
“That’s the France we love. We are from different origins but we stay united,” said Griezmann.
“It is the same in our team. There are many players who came from different horizons but we do have the same state of mind for the same jersey and for the country.
“We did everything we have as soon as we wear the jersey, we work for each other and it is beautiful. We like it,” added Griezmann.
Winning the World Cup has proved a greater compensation to France after losing in the Euro Championship final on home soil just two years ago. The manager Didier Deschamps somehow re-energised his team, culminating in a World conquest where they won all but one (an inconsequential final group game) of their matches in Russia.
“We learnt a lot from the defeat two years ago,” stated Griezmann.
“Many of us that went to the Euros are not here. There have been many changes, some new players have arrived and that has been very good for us. Pavard, Lucas (Hernandez), Kylian (Mbappe) and the likes add value to our team and like I said, we are a group, we live well together since the start.
“The substitutes were not moody, they were never annoyed but worked for the team. That was our strength. The coach was right in his selections and the choices he made game after game. I am really very proud of this team.”
Griezmann is still in dream land after the global conquest. The winner of the tournament’s Silver boot (second highest scorer) and Bronze ball (third best player) awards admits he is yet to come to terms with the success and restates his pride in his team.
“Honestly, I don’t really realise yet what it is to be a World champion.
“The World Cup is huge. I am very proud of this team and I am very proud of the players and the entire staff as well. We really are a united group, both the players on the bench or in the starting line up.
“We did incredible things, we made history and we are going to enjoy it,” he added.
Antoine Griezmann scored four goals and had two assists in the competition, his extra assist giving him the second top scorer award at the expense of Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku who also ended the tournament on four goals.