French World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane were included alongside perennial candidates Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on a 10-man shortlist for the FIFA best player award on Tuesday.
A month on and 63 games later, the 2018 World Cup reaches its climax on Sunday as a young France side spearheaded by Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann look to win the trophy for the second time when they take on Croatia in Moscow.
Uruguay captain Diego Godin praised his team mates as “lions” after reaching the World Cup quarter-finals but falling 2-0 to France, and said goalkeeper Fernando Muslera’s error for the second goal should be forgiven.
Raphael Varane’s glancing header and a goalkeeping blunder that gifted Antoine Griezmann a soft goal gave France a 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the first World Cup quarterfinal on Friday and a set up a last-four tie with Brazil or Belgium.
France’s Antoine Griezmann knows not to expect any favourable treatment when confronted by close friend Diego Godin in Friday’s World Cup quarter-final.