World Cup final predictions: Will France or Croatia lift the trophy?

One of the best World Cups in history comes to an end Sunday in Moscow, as France and Croatia face off at the Luzhniki Stadium with the world championship on the line.

This is the third time France has reached the World Cup final, winning it all in 1998 and losing to Italy in the 2006 championship game. Croatia’s national team didn’t officially join FIFA until 1992 – with players previously competing for Yugoslavia – and is here in the final for the first time.

USA TODAY Sports’ soccer staff gives their picks for the World Cup final and who will win the Golden Ball – awarded to the tournament’s best player:

Prediction: France 3, Croatia 0

Golden Ball winnerLuka Modric, Croatia

PredictionFrance 2, Croatia 1 (after extra time)

Golden Ball: Luka Modric, Croatia

Prediction: France 2, Croatia 1

Golden Ball: Kylian Mbappe, France 

PredictionFrance 3, Croatia 1

Golden Ball: Kylian Mbappe, France

 

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