ISTRA, Russia – France midfielder Blaise Matuidi said on Friday the upcoming FIFA World Cup final clash with Croatia would be the most important match of his life.
On Tuesday, France secured a spot in the World Cup final for the third time with a 1-0 victory over Belgium, thanks to defender Samuel Umtiti’s header off a corner in the 51st minute.
“This is the match of our life, pressure is there, but it should be positive and not inhibit us,” Juventus’ Matuidi said in a press conference.
“We are facing this final in a different way. We hope to play a great match and win,” he added.
France won its first – and so far, only – World Cup in 1998, when head coach Didier Deschamps was the captain of the host nation’s squad.
In Sunday’s final, France will face Croatia, which defeated England 2-1 in an extra-time thriller on Wednesday to become the second-smallest nation in history to reach the World Cup final.