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1998 World Cup Final – live blog

Pre Match Notes:

  • The game will be hosted at the Stade De France and will show the 1998 World Cup Final on a day that will be remembered in football history between the two titans of international football battling it out in Saint-Denis, with Moroccan referee Said Belqola officiating the match due to kick off at 8pm.
  • Brazil beat Chile, Denmark and the Netherlands to get to this point, with a +6 goal difference against all the teams. France previously beat Paraguay, Italy and Croatia to reach the final point in this tournament.
  • The great mystery was Ronaldo and whether he was going to make the squad list, due to his injury and even the media didn’t know if he would be playing until 8pm.  72 minutes before kick off, it was announced that Edmundo would take his place in the lineup, but reporters for BBC and other media received the news shortly before kick off that Ronaldo would play in the final. The French lineup remains unchanged from their previous fixture.
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1’- The game is underway and France will kick off. There is an electric atmosphere in the stadium and 2 of the best football nations go head to head in a game that will shape footballing history.

7’ Lizarazu collides with Cafu after beating him to the ball when Cafu had already committed to the challenge, but France win the free kick from a promising position that Zidane will take the freekick. A good ball in from Zidane that is met by Djorkaeff’s head, but he fails to hit the target.

10’ a great tackle from Petit grants Djorkaeff possession, and he beats Sampaio down the line for the opportunity for the cross, but to no avail as it is low and Aldair clears.

First 15’ a good match up so far but France dominated the possession in these first 15 minutes, whilst doing little trouble to create anything that was going to trouble this Brazilian defence. Both teams keep entering the opposition’s final third, but passes are getting cut out and players are losing the ball on each side.

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21’ Rivaldo slides the ball outside to Roberto Carlos, who has a chance to cross with 3 attackers in the box, but the cross is well overhit and he fails to put in a decent enough cross to cause Barthez any trouble.

22’ Ronaldo finally has possession after not being involved in the first 20 minutes. He beats Thuram with his famous step over skill move and crosses it into Bebeto, but just plays it too close to Barthez who can collect the ball, but only just retains possession after being under pressure from Bebeto.


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Roberto Carlos looks like he is comfortably able to shield the ball from Karembeu, but fails to clear the ball and concedes a corner for France. Petit puts in a promising cross in just the right area, which is met with Zidane in the air, who guides the ball past Taffarel , who is beaten at his near post with a great leap and header.

31’ a deep pass from French captain Dunga is dangerous and played through to Ronaldo, who chases the ball but can only look up to see Barthez’s knee, who clatters Ronaldo and Barthez quickly asks the referee to stop the game and see Ronaldo. Ronaldo wasn’t feeling well before the game, and he certainly isn’t feeling any better after the collision with the French keeper.

38’ Rivaldo beats Deschamps with brilliant trickery and is brought down with a tackle that shows no attempt to play the ball from Deschamps, who doesn’t see himself in the book, but collides with Dunga in a 50/50 and holds his stomach as he goes down. After a few minutes, he gets up and carries on but he will most likely feel the effects of that challenge.

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41’ Karembeu has an effort from range that is low and weak, but it hits Baiano and falls to Petit, who strikes on the volley from just 8 yards on out his weak foot, but hit shot is also deflected and goes just wide of the post but Brazil are lucky to have a goal kick from that chance.

44’ a deep ball from in his own half from Thuram is misjudged by Aldair and he has a chance on goal one on one against Taffarel, but volleys it straight at the keeper, who denies the striker from close but France have a corner.


A corner from Djorkaeff is in the perfect area for Zidane, who heads the ball past Taffarel, who simply cant get there and Zidane puts France 2-0 up before half time in the exact same fashion as the first. 


A great first half of football sees 2 goals from Zidane and France, both headers. France have mostly dominated the game, creating more chances and retaining more possession. We have little to see of Ronaldo, who has barely been in this game and is the difference that Brazil need to have a chance of winning this game.

55’ YELLOW CARD – Karembeu 

Denilson drives with the ball towards the French defence and shifts the ball past Karembeu, who is very late in his tackle and sees his name in the book for the bad challenge. 

57’ Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos take the free kick quickly and provide Roberto Carlos with space out wide, who puts in a great back post cross to Ronaldo, who blasts the ball from close, but is straight at Barthez who can comfortably save the effort and France have time to reorganise. 

65’ SUBSTITUTION (Guivarch <-> Dugarry)


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Desailly is shown RED!

Desailly is booked again after he chases a loose ball that creates space for him and Cafu to run after it. Cafu gets there just before Desially and Desailly goes in two foot on Cafu, for his second yellow card of the game. This adds even more undeserved pressure on France.

72’ Ronaldo receives the ball in the final third for one of the first times this game, as he turns the face of the goal in between three players, but is dispossessed by a great tackle from Emmanuel Petit. He is really struggling to get in the game and when he receives the ball, he is surrounded by blue shirts and France are doing well to keep the danger man out of the game so far.

74’ SUBSTITUTION (César Sampaio <-> Edmundo)

75’ SUBSTITUTION (Patrick Viera <-> Djorkaeff)

78’ after a heavy challenge on Zidane by Edmundo, he falls to the ground holding his knee, whilst the referee continues play until Brazil kick the ball out of play, musch to the frustration of Edmundo, who argues with Baiano after he kicked the ball out of play. Temperatures are rising and Brazil struggles to get a look into this game.

90’ Brazil had the best chance of the game on goal after Viera lost possession and Brazil attacked at the France goal, from Edmundo who slid it to Sampaio. 



Les Bleus win the 1998 World Cup Final!

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After hosting the World Cup for the second time, France have reached and won their first final, against 4 times champions and favourites to win the competition, Brazil. The Les Bleus were expected to lose the game, especially with the suspension of key defender and captain Laurent Blanc. Brazil also had the likes of Rivaldo, Cafu, Bebeto and Roberto Carlos in the line-up against them. An unfit and clearly unready Ronaldo made an appearance, but he evidently wasn’t ready to play again after his lackluster performance tonight. Even after all their odds against them, coach Aime Jacquet won the tactical battle with the help of Zinedine Zidane, who, with a brace, was mostly responsible for the win over Brazil, Les Bleus could celebrate their first World Cup win with joy.

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