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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Shmackem: No pressure for Croatia in 2018 World Cup Final

Carlos Ruiz

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final hosted by Russia is taking place on Sunday and will consist of France versus Croatia, in a win or go home match.

The pressure to win the World Cup Final is all on France, as the team is the favorite to win.

Not many futbol aficionados expected Croatia to be here, because they were not favorited like other clubs. And no one outside of Croatia really expects the soccer team to win it all.

So Croatia as the underdog has an advantage of not being expected to win and having the pressure that comes with being the favorite. If the team loses, they were supposed to lose. However, if they pull off another upset it would be something special.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Croatia slightly edged out England in the semifinals in extra time, by a final margin of 2-1 to advance to this year’s World Cup Final.

That alone was an upset because England, winner of the 1966 FIFA World Cup was a favorite to get to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final and possibly win another championship.

The semifinals went a little different for France as the team cruised to a 1-0 victory versus Belgium.France has been to the Finals a total of three times and won the World Cup Final in 1998.

The last World Cup Final appearance for France was in 2006 where the team lost to Italy.

However, this is new territory for Croatia, a team that has only competed in the World five times and are making its first ever World Cup Final appearance.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Croatia is obviously the underdog going up against France. According to betting odds France is a -110 favorite over Croatia at +360.

In FIFA World Cup history there have been only eight different countries to hoist the golden earth inspired trophy.

Additionally, five of the eight FIFA World Cup championship countries have won multiple.

France is seeking to tally that number up to six countries having won multiple World Cup titles. 

On the other end Croatia, a team not expected to win, is looking to complete one of the biggest upsets in sports history and win its first ever World Cup.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

France’s teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé has been one of the best players throughout the tournament. He even scored multiple goals in an elimination match so far in the World Cup.

Croatia has that to deal with, plus savvy veterans on France’s end.

However, Croatia has players who don’t know what quitting is, as they’ve come back from being down before. Also, the team has midfielder Luka Modrić, a talented player.

Things could get even more interesting knowing that Croatia went into extra time in round of 16, quarterfinals and the semifinals. Only time will tell if the Croatian squad will push France to extra time as well.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Sunday’s match will tell if France was rightfully the favorite or if we shouldn’t have overlooked Croatia from the beginning.

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About the Contributors
Jah-Tosh Baruti
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Staff Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti is author of the sports column titled Shmackem. Previously he was sports editor for Talon Marks. Baruti also took home an award for his sports writing at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state conference in 2018.
Carlos Ruiz
Carlos Ruiz, Managing Editor
Carlos Ruiz is the Managing Editor for Talon Marks. He admires photography, and even launched his own website and has dedicated his Instagram to his work. His dream job is always changing, but most recently, he would like to travel the world taking photos, or something having to do with photojournalism. He’s hopeful to continue working on a newspaper staff at the CSU he decides to attend.  
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Shmackem: No pressure for Croatia in 2018 World Cup Final