Simon Green
Vive La France! Many congratulations on pulling off a sensational 4-2 victory against a compelling Croatia, and thus winning the much coveted World Cup 2018 here in Moscow! Croatia were much the better team in the first half, and thoroughly deserved to equalize, but in the second half, I rather imagine the French team were given references to that aforementioned titled event way back in 1789, and came back with a vengeance.
The well-known idiom mentions ‘The irresistible force versus the immovable object,’ but this was more a case of the irresistible force versus the irresistible force, such was the end to end play at breakneck pace and with some sublimely skilful play to boot, if you’ll excuse the pun! France were still smarting from their defeat against Portugal in the European Championship in 2016, and Croatia were busily chasing a dream of a first World Cup glory for their nation. When France went 4-1 up during the last quarter of the second half, I feltthat the fat lady was already starting her introductory notes. However, Croatia, had put considerable pressure on France which caused the French goalkeeper to emulate the Liverpool goalie in almost the exact same fashion, whereupon a delighted Croatia seized upon this opportunity with alacrity- 4-2. Their aspirations of victory, however, were short-lived, and France banged the final nails into the coffin with two quick and magnificent goals of their own to conquer the world for the first time sine 1998.
The second conratulations must go to Russia, whom the FIFA President eulogized in no uncertain terms when he categorically stated that this was the most successful World Cup tournament in its history. Everything went like clockwork due to great organizational skills above and beyond the call of duty, ably assisted by a plethora of volunteers eager to help any uncertain toursists. I couldn’t help but notice that from the semi-finals onwards, government officials  came from their respective countries to support their team. In England’s semi-final against eventual winners, Croatia, not one memeber of the government or the royal family felt able to make the journey during the England’s team hour of need- utterly feeble in my opinion and many of my Russian frineds asked me why? I had no immediate answer, save to say that many more England fans would have been here in Russia were it not for erroneous media coverage. What they missed was a cornucopia of colourful garb from various nationalities, and in particular from the Latin American persuasions, all celebrating ‘the beautiful game,’ whatever the result. The main point was that there wasn’t any trouble at all, and everyone joined in the party atmosphere, especailly in Nikolskaya area, and respected each other’s countries. This has been an absolutely fantastic World Cup 2018, and massive kudos to Russia in putting it all together for us mere mortals to enjoy and bask in the reflected glory of this success story! As for France, the eventual winners, I refer back to the immortal words of King Louis XIV when he declared: “L’etat c’est moi”- the State is mine; which in todays parlance equates to : “The Cup is Ours!” Mes felicitations, France!