SAN DIEGO – Sunday’s World Cup matchup between France and Croatia will come down to midfield play, former US men’s team captain Landon Donovan said.
“If you started the tournament saying Croatia would be in the finals, I would’ve called you a liar,” Donovan said. “It’s been a little bit of a surprise.”
Donovan is looking forward to watching the finals and will have his eyes on the incredible battle in the midfield.
“France’s two midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante – you’d say without looking at Croatia – are the two best midfielders in the world. But Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric are pretty damn good, too.”
All-in-all, Donovan said it’ll come down to one special play. He’s predicting France will win.
“I think they are too talented.”
During group play, Donovan had said Croatia was the best all-around team as in the entire team was playing well together.
“They were organized, compact and when they needed a special play, they made it happen,” he said of Croatia’s win over England.
“When you’re down by one goal in the semifinals of the World Cup it’s very hard to come back. They fought back, went into extra time again and scored a goal – which was a fantastic play.”
Croatia went into extra time for the third game in this World Cup.
“I want to know what they are eating and drinking – what’s going on? Three-straight games and they’ve played 90 extra minutes than any other team in the tournament. I don’t know how they are doing it,” Donovan said.
France’s young star Paul Pogba has played incredibly during the World Cup tournament.
“He’s been lightning, dynamic and so much fun to watch,” Donovan said. “Can you imagine if France wins the World Cup on Sunday and he scores and has a good game? He could be considered the best player in the world at just 19 years old. The guy’s got the world at his fingertips.”