fifa world cup

France is the champion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, besting Croatia by 4 goals to 2.

France entered the tournament as a favorite, powered by stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while Croatia was seen as a longshot for victory.

"We are world champions and France are going to be on top of the world for next four years," French coach Didier Deschamps said after the game. He called the tournament a "beautiful celebration of football."

Has Video Refereeing Ruined The World Cup?

Jul 13, 2018

Tensions were high at a crowded bar in New York City, packed with sweating Belgian and French fans. A lot was at stake: Whoever won Tuesday's game would go on to play in the World Cup final. Anxious fans booed, chanted and yelled at the screen.

As raucous as soccer can get, it's also a game of charades. Players communicate with the referee, who often speaks a different language, by using sign language. A striker will hold up an invisible infraction card to ask that an opponent be penalized; the ref might point at his eyes to acknowledge a misbehaving player.

Croatia has advanced to its first-ever World Cup final in men's soccer. The Croatian National team came from behind and upset favored England 2-to-1 in a semifinal match decided in extra time on Wednesday in Moscow.

Croatia was supposed to be a tired team coming into the match.

Its previous two games went to extra time and then emotionally draining penalty shootouts. But if anything, the grueling lead-up to the clash against England solidified Croatia's mental toughness, which served the Croats well on Wednesday.

Updated at 8:26 a.m. ET

The men's World Cup soccer tournament is down to the final two games that matter.

A day after France advanced to Sunday's final in Moscow with a 1-0 victory over Belgium, the focus of the tournament is now turning to the other semi-final game, England against Croatia in Moscow.

A win for England would help erase World Cup futility. The English claim to have invented the game, or at least the modern version of it. But England has not been in the final since 1966, when it won its only World Cup title.

Claire Thornton

Across from Trump Palace tower, hundreds of Russia soccer fans congregated at the RK Village Plaza shopping center in Sunny Isles on Saturday. They were focused on celebrating the Russian team's accomplishments to date, instead of pinning hopes on future prospects in the FIFA tournament.

Claire Thornton / WLRN News

On a Friday morning in West Palm Beach, World Cup fans clad in sky blue took over the Argentine restaurant Al Pan Pan. South Floridians representing a host of different Latin American countries collectively cheered for their neighbor Uruguay in its match against France. 

Members of the crowd screamed, cried, and bit their nails during the quick 95-minute game.

Among the folds of Uruguayan flags stood patron Juan Iglesias, who is Cuban.

"Whoever's in that is a Latin country, you know I root for that," Iglesias said.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET Friday

One of the upsides to hosting the World Cup is the hordes of international tourists and their bulging wallets that will inevitably descend. One of the downsides is the logistics of accommodating those tourists and their corporeal needs, including bathing.

At least, that's one of the adjustments the Russian city of Samara is trying to make.

Wander into any bar in Rio de Janeiro at present, and you are sure to meet one of the world's greatest soccer talents.

He or she might be young or old, short or tall, a beer drinker or a fan of the head-spinning cachaça spirit made from sugar cane.

Yet they'll have one thing in common.

He or she will be wearing the bright yellow No. 10 shirt identified with Neymar — the man long seen as the Brazilian national team's finest performer, who's now also its funniest.

Brandan Odums

After beating Mexico in Monday ‘s World Cup match, Brazil is now advancing to the quarterfinals. That has plenty of fans happy in South Florida.

Now they have another place to celebrate. In Brickell City Center a massive mural of the Brazilian star Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. -- who goes by Neymar -- is located on the corner of SW 8th Street and SW First Avenue. This mural was commissioned by the sports website Bleacher Report as part of the #Largerthanlife campaign to coincide with the World Cup.

Fairchild Garden

Elizabeth Koh is a Miami Herald reporter based in Tallahassee, Florida, who has been reporting on a number of new state laws that went into effect July 1. The laws include limits on painkiller prescriptions, giving kids that are bullied the option to leave school and a restriction on marriage licenses for those younger than 18. Koh joined Sundial to break down each law and what it means to the state of Florida.

In a shocking upset, South Korea has beaten Germany in the World Cup, denying the defending champions a chance to advance beyond the first round.

It's the first time in at least 80 years that Germany has failed to advance out of the World Cup's group stage. It was a stunning result, both for the team that had come to Russia as the world's No. 1 and for South Korea, which wasn't listed in the top 50 when this tournament began.

At the World Cup in Russia, it finally happened.

It took a record 37 matches, but Tuesday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Denmark and France played to a scoreless tie. Or if you want to sound like someone who knows futbol, a nil-nil draw.

It was the tournament's first. According to FIFA, international soccer's governing body, the 36 matches that preceded Tuesday's double goose eggs "smashed" the previous record, when it took 26 matches at a World Cup to finally get to a scoreless tie.

Julia Guimarães had already written about the unpleasant "machismo" she says she and other female journalists are facing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as they are constantly outnumbered by male peers and the target of ridicule and unwanted advances from fans.

Each World Cup, the sportswear giant Adidas designs an official ball to be used in the tournament.

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The first few matches of this year’s FIFA World Cup have been seismic.

Mexico literally shook the ground after beating Germany –a highlight for some fans like Susan Dirgins-Friend, who's from California and lives in Davie.

"Though I am not Latin, Mexico, Mexicans and Mexican Americans are close to my heart," she says.

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