The World Cup is done and dusted.
Football isn’t going home and all that is left to do is crown the champions.
On Sunday, France and Croatia will battle it out for the big prize in Moscow.
It should be a great occasion, but I feel that the World Cup as a spectacle is now over.
I don’t like this France team.
Ahead of the tournament, I rated this team as one of the most exciting squads going to Russia.
But they haven’t caught my imagination.
Well not completely. Coach Didier Deschamps has one of the youngest and talented squads in the competition.
Only captain Hugo Lloris is over 30. And yet there they are in the final of the biggest tournament in the game.
They have shown maturity and discipline to do what it takes to win.
But they haven’t played like the bunch of superstars they are and Deschamps hasn’t found the formula to make this team one that embodies typical French flair.
Kylian Mbappe got to show his pace and deadly finishing once in this tournament.
However, that 4-3 game against Argentina was played against a side that was dysfunctional.
For me it didn’t count.
I may sound harsh, but I want my world champions to be awesome, not just competent.
There may have been some sour grapes when the Belgians slammed Les Bleus for playing anti football in the semifinal, but this team is not playing champagne football.
It’s great to see a team like Croatia in the final.
They have all the old-fashioned awesome things about a football team.
In Luka Modric, they have an experienced playmaker who can produce magic.
Danijel Subasic has been incredible in penalty shootouts.
Ivan Perisic is the old-school winger with an eye for goal.
You can go on.
They don’t have the balance in the midfield that most better-resourced sides and no superstar.
But they have combinations that work, like Modric, Perisic and Ivan Rakitic.
And I love the way they out-England-ed England on Wednesday night - running them into ground until the Poms had nothing left.
They just seemed “more football” than the football we saw here in Russia.
Plus they showed real guts, coming through three extra-time periods to get to the final.
They didn’t need penalties to beat England though.
But they have been notoriously slow starters and will have to be better to put France’s defence under pressure early on.
Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Domagoj Vida and company will be worthy winners for me.
France, though, have done nothing memorable at this World Cup to make this 2018 vintage standout.
Let’s hope Mbappe and Pogba-goed are saving their best game for the final.