Do you remember the first due between the Croatia and the France? The semifinals of the 1998 World Cup were played at the France Stadium in Saint-Denis, in which the Croatians, with the goal of the current president of the Football Federation, Davor Šuker, had an advantage at the halftime and a player more due to the exclusion of Laurent Blanc.
And then Lillian Thuram came on the scene, who with two goals, the only one in 142 national team appearances, took the Gallic Roosters to the finals, and left Croatia to grieve. That match seemed to determine the fate of all the next ones between these selections, and there were six more.
Croatia has never celebrated, although it was close to success at the 2004 European Championships. She lost, then turned around, but David Trezeguet brought a point to France.
The last two ended with identical victories of the selected player Didier Deschamps, with the result 4: 2.
The first one you undoubtedly remember - the one in the final of the World Cup in Russia in 2018, in which Kilyan Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba completely surpassed the Croats, exhausted due to three consecutive matches in which they played overtime The previous one took place a little more than a month ago in the 2nd round of Group 3 of the UEFA Nations League, when Zlatko Dalic's players duly tortured the world champions, but still suffered perhaps an undeservedly convincing defeat.
The first half of that match served as the basis for Dalic's setup, which proved to be effective in a friendly match against Switzerland and Sweden in the last round of the Nations League - both won 2: 1 - so the French must not easily enter the match with motivated and self-confidence Croats.
It sounds almost unbelievable that Croatia is worth almost a billion euros less than the French. To be more precise, the value of Croatia is 331.25 million euros, while the Tricolors "cost" an incredible 1.24 billion.
In the second match of the "death group", Portugal and Sweden cross spears. The great matches against Croatia (4: 1) and Sweden (2: 0) caused an almost euphoric atmosphere in the Portugal. Coach Fernando Santos called for a rematch with the Scandinavians, that is, the duels that preceded him - friendly with Spain (0: 0) and the one on Sunday away to France (0: 0) - a slightly changed lineup.
The new names are returnees Rafa Silva, Daniel Podence, Ruben Semedo and William Carvalho, and the experience and individual quality of the home team should bring them three new points in the clash with the Swedes, who are aware that they are coming to the European champion. However, the star of the Portuguese, Cristiano Ronaldo, will skip the duel, because of corona virus.