The title clash refreshes memory of their 1998 semi-final when two near-identical second half strikes by right-back Liliam Thuram propelled France to their first final before they went on to overwhelm defending champions and South American powerhouse Brazil.
This time, however, Zlatko Dalic-coached Croatia have a squad capabale of going all the way. Just like the Davor Suker-captained batch of 1998, this Croatian side, has a similar never-say-die attitude, coupled with talent from the best clubs all over Europe.
However, France have, at least on paper, a squad loaded with talent and more depth. In Didier Deschamps, they have a coach who has previous experince of winning the World Cup as a player.
Deschamps, who captained the 1998 French side, has a chance to achieve the rare distinction of becoming only the third man, in history — after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and German legend Franz Beckenbauer — to win the World Cup both as a player and a head coach.