Paul Pogba celebrates with the World Cup trophy in Moscow. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty

And then, the rain came. As the dignitaries filed onto the pitch, shoehorning their way into the post-match celebrations, there was an eruption from t(...)

France midfielder Paul Pogba is among the players who have dominated in the tournament. Photograph: Franck FIfe/AFP/Getty Images

José Mourinho has kept busy during the World Cup with a punditry gig on RT (formerly Russia Today). Listening to his analysis, you quickly realise tha(...)

Zlatko Dalic has steered Croatia to the World Cup final after taking over in chaotic circumstances. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty

Pyry Soiri is a name that will sound vaguely familiar to regular followers of the Croatia team but most others in the country - in particular those wh(...)

Croatia players salute their fans as they celebrate after their World Cup semi-final win over England in Moscow. Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

An hour after Croatia had knocked out England, I spoke to an English journalist friend who ventured the thought that if England had gone on to win the(...)

 Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring the winning goal in their World Cup semi-final against England having earlier been dragged off in agony. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. England’s plan was working perfectly until the 65th minute here in Moscow, when that fateful(...)

Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane train ahead of England’s World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

THE MATCHES Semi-finals: Croatia v England (7.0, Luzhniki Stadium, ITV/RTÉ2) Betting: Croatia 13-5, England 27-20, Draw 21-10 ONE TO WATCH England’(...)

Croatia’s defender Domagoj Vida after scoring in extra time. Photograph: Getty Images

Russia 2 Croatia 2 AET (Croatia win 4-3 on penalties) Croatia ended Russia’s unlikely World Cup dream when they won 4-3 on penalties to eliminate th(...)

Jesse Lingard trains ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final clash with Sweden. Photograph: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA

THE MATCHES QUARTER-FINALS Sweden v England, (3.0, Samara, RTÉ2/BBC) Betting: Sweden 19-5, England 19-20, Draw 8-5 Russia v Croatia (7.0, Sochi, RTÉ2(...)

Croatia’s Danijel Subasic saves a penalty from Denmark’s Lasse Schone during the shootout in the round of 16 game at  Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Croatia 1 Denmark 1 (aet, Croatia win 3-2 on penalties) There are some matches in which the spectre of penalties begins to loom with indecent haste. (...)

Croatia’s Luka Modric scores their second goal from the penalty spot during the  World Cup  Group D match against  Nigeria at  Kaliningrad Stadium. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Croatia took the early initiative in Group D as they saw off Nigeria 2-0 in their World Cup opener at the Kaliningrad Stadium. W(...)

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