FIFA World Cup 2018: Smart Moves That Helped France to Win

Photo of author

( — January 16, 2019) — Many agree that the 2018 FIFA World Cup was one of the world’s greatest sporting events ever. There are many numbers and facts that show this is not just a subjective opinion, but a reality.

As we know, France won the tournament and snatched the second World Cup title. Let’s see what took them to win this year, despite the fierce competition.

Having Faith in Philosophy

Between 1998 and 2014, France was eliminated twice in the group stage. The team also did not go beyond the quarterfinal round during the same period. However, the French federation did not want to abandon its general playing philosophy.

What this means is that, while other teams tried to replicate Spain’s winning philosophy, France was sticking to its own style. The France Federation’s technical director, Hubert Fournier, said that, “the typical French player has all the technical, athletic, and tactical sense.”

The organization had faith in its values, and it paid off big time this year.

Discovering Talent and Then Nurturing Them

When it comes to playing sports internationally, you have to work with the talent from your own country. So the French scouts discovered more than 100 soccer professionals, including the breakout star Kylian Mbappe, and picked the best among them.

Didier Deschamps, national team coach, said, “My choices are human investments.” Every player comes with a different personality and philosophy. You have to know them first and then tune them into the team accordingly.

Working Outside the Comfort Zone

Getting out of the comfort zone broadens the horizons and, in the case of the French players, it enhances learning.

Well, 19 members of France’s World Cup squad have played outside their home country. Three of their leaders, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, and Antoine Griezmann also moved abroad as teenagers.

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, three of them depicted the same leadership as the older leaders. Before the finals started, Paul Pogba said, “I don’t know how many matches we have played in our careers, but this match is everything that will change the history.” During the halftime, Raphael and Antoine came up with that to motivate the team.

Measuring the Reasons for Success

In the 1970s, France decided that investing in young soccer players will be its benchmark to measure success. Now, every year, the French Federation ranks the French youth clubs based on the players’ educational achievements, number of players who sign professional contracts, and the players who make appearances for their club’s senior team.

For example, Olympique Lyonnais (playing in France’s top division) provided Nabil Fekir, an academy graduate, a chance to play in the World Cup in Russia.

Summing Up

There is no denying that the tournament was full of thrilling moments. Along with France’s victory and other matches, the FIFA 2018 World Cup group stage also showcased many breakthrough stars.

Carlos Salcedo, Hirving Lozano (Mexico), Sergej Milinković (Serbia), Yerry Mina (Colombia), Benjamin Pavard (France), Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Manuel Akanzi (Switzerland), and Rodrigo Bentancur (Uruguay) are only some of the names that emerged during the tournament group stage.

The infographic below is an ideal source to dive into all the facts and numbers associated with the World Cup 2018. It will take you through the highlights, best matches, and milestones.