France have been the exception of all the top ranked teams as they embraced their tag of being part of the tournament favourites to dominate proceedings to reach the final at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
France began their campaign against a spirited Australian side in what was probably their least impressive performance of the tournament. Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba eventually gave Les Bleus the win to go top of the group.
Their second clash against Peru brought about a much improved performance despite a low scoreline of just 1-0. The match saw Didier Deschamps recall Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi into the line up with the former assisting Kylian Mpabbe with the goal after a great through ball from Pogba.
With the victory seemingly in the bag, Deschamps was quick to withdraw his stars as Griezmann, Pogba and Mbappe were all substituted.
Having already qualified for the last 16, Dechamps chose to rotate his squad for their final group clash as Hugo Lloris, Pogba and Mbappe all started the game while Griezmann was an early withdrawal as they played out to a conservative 0-0 draw against Denmark.
Topping Group C made Frances last 16 clash a difficult one as they face Argentina who finished second thanks to Croatia’s dominance.
It was an incredible clash which saw no less than seven goals scored in the 90 minutes. Griezmann gave France the lead from the penalty spot before Angel Di Maria equalised with a stunning effort from range.
Gabriel Mercado then gave the South Americans the lead before Benjamin Pavard announced himself to the world with a sublime effort that is still a hot candidate for goal of the tournament.
France then turned on the screws as Mbappe;s pace caused havoc as he bagged a quick brace to give France a 4-2 lead. A late goal from Sergio Aguero only acted as a consolation as France progressed into the next round.
After their scintillating clash against Argentina, France came up against Uruguay who were notably the immense presence of Edinson Cavani. Lloris produced a stunnign save while Raphael Varane opened the scoring with Griezmann adding a second largely due to a goalkeeping error from Fernando Muslera.
The next obstacle between France and a final appearance was the star studded Belgium who had demonstrated their resilience and fighting spirit in the tournament. It was a tight affair with Belgium dominating most of the game which forced France to play an uncharacteristically defensive game. However, Samuel Umtiti managed to head them ahead and Dechamps side was able to hold onto the lead to book their spot in the final for the first time since 2006.