Today is the final day of the 2018 World Cup. The next time we see a game that is of interest to this blog, it will be when Juventus is playing one of four friendlies in the United States. And, just as we have it, the final game of the World Cup will also be the final chance for their to be some Juventus vs. Juventus action this summer.
In one corner stands Mario Mandzukic and Croatia.
In the other corner stands Blaise Matuidi and France.
We might see Marko Pjaca come down out of the rafters where he’s been hanging out for pretty much all of the tournament, but that just seems very unlikely unless they have to take Mandzukic off with 10 security guards carrying him. (That is the only thing that would make him stop playing in a World Cup final, right?)
Pjaca or no Pjaca, the World Cup final pins the all-world talent of France against the classic underdog kind of story in Croatia. (Just don’t tell Mario his team is the underdog. I don’t want to get on his bad side.) A World Cup win for France will have people talking about a possible French dynasty starting up. A World Cup win for Croatia will have people saying how a country with only 4-plus million people were able to overcome the odds to get to the mountain top.
Or maybe folks are saying some of that already.
Now, Didier Deschamps has been criticized — and probably rightfully so — for his rather conservative approach despite have some of the best attacking and midfield talent in the world at his disposal. Whether he lets that loose against a Croatia team that has played 120 minutes of game time the last three knockout round fixtures will be a big thing hanging over this year’s final. Same goes for just how much Mandzukic and Croatia have left in the tank.
Let the game begin.
Get your fix now because we’ve still got a couple of weeks before Juventus starts up its four-game schedule of friendlies.
World Cup Final, France vs. Croatia — 6 p.m. local time in Russia, 11 a.m. on the East Coast, 8 a.m. on the West Coast
HOW TO WATCH
Television: FOX, Telemundo (United States); TSN1, TSN4, TSN5, RDS (Canada); STV Scotland, ITV 1 UK, BBC One, UTV (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (United States); TSN3, RDS GO, TSN GO, CTV GO (Canada); BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Live (United Kingdom)
Note: This post will be updated as the main World Cup viewing and off-topic thread here at BWRAO. Stay tuned to BWRAO for posts regarding Juventus’ representation in Russia as well as any transfer-related happenings that take place before, during or after the day’s schedule comes and goes.