France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the title for the second time and cap off a memorable World Cup in Russia. ESPN brings you the best numbers from what has been a World Cup of records.
This World Cup produced 169 goals, making it the third most prolific World Cup of all time. Only 1998 and 2014 produced more goals (171 in each). It is worth noting that the top four high-scoring World Cups of all time have come over the last six editions, since the tournament was expanded to 32 teams, and 64 matches as a consequence.
The 45 goals in the knockout stages are the highest at a World Cup, beating both the 1954 and 1994 editions by one goal. Some of the other records at Russia include most penalties awarded (29) and converted (22), most own goals (12) and most game-winning goals in the 90th minute or later, including extra time (10).
Champions France trailed for just nine minutes through the entire World Cup, trailing exactly by nine minutes and 12 seconds in the round of 16 match against Argentina. This is the fourth-best for a champion since the round of 16 format was introduced in 1986. West Germany didn't trail for a single second in 1990, while France in 1998 (one minute, seven seconds) and Germany in 2014 (seven minutes and 56 seconds) occupy second and third place.
In the final, Mario Mandzukic became just the second player to have scored at both ends in a World Cup match (and the first to do so in the final). The only previous occasion was in 1978, when Dutch defender Ernie Brandts scored an own goal against Italy in the 18th minute before scoring the equaliser in the 50th minute. Arie Haan's 75th minute goal meant Netherlands would go on to win 2-1 in Buenos Aires.
With Luka Modric of Croatia winning the Golden Ball as best player, it has been a sixth consecutive occasion that the award has gone to a team other than the one that has won the World Cup. The last time a Golden Ball winner came from the World Cup winning team was in 1994, when Romario helped Brazil to their fourth title. The winners since have been Ronaldo, Oliver Kahn, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Forlan, Lionel Messi, and now Modric. Of them, only Forlan's team (Uruguay) failed to finish in second place.
Raphaël Varane became the only player to have won the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League in the current season, having won the latter with Real Madrid of Spain earlier in the year. In fact, he is the fourth consecutive Real Madrid player to do this unique double, joining Christian Karembeu (1998), Roberto Carlos (2002) and Sami Khedira (2014). In all, 11 players have achieved the feat, with seven Bayern Munich players winning the European Cup and the World Cup with the Germany team in 1974, led by Franz Beckenbauer. Conversely, Dejan Lovren became just the 13th player to have lost both the Champions League and World Cup final in the same season, for Liverpool and Croatia, respectively.
World Cup 2018 must-reads
Kylian Mbappe's goal in the final meant both Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur had the most goals (12) scored by their players at the World Cup. Harry Kane accounted for half of the numbers for Tottenham, while Barcelona and Real Madrid followed in third and fourth places among clubs, with 11 and 10 goals, respectively.
Paul Pogba's goal in the final was the first ever by a Manchester United player, as also the first by a Premier League based player since compatriot Emmanuel Petit, then with Arsenal, who scored in the 1998 final against Brazil.
With just four red cards, the 2018 World Cup was the joint-sixth best in terms of fewest ejections in World Cup history (the concept of yellow and red cards only began in 1970), and the best since 1978 when only three players were sent off. On the other end of the spectrum, 2006 produced the most red cards (28), while this was the first tournament since 1986 (eight) when the number of red cards were in single digits.
Belgium finished with 16 goals, the most for any team at the 2018 World Cup, and the joint third best for all teams under the current format of 32 teams, introduced in 1998. Only Germany (2014) and Brazil (2002) scored more goals, getting 18 each on their way to the World Cup trophy. Belgium's tally has been bettered on 11 different occasions, though, with Austria's 27 goals in 1954 still the record. Brazil feature in that list ahead of Belgium three times, as do the Germans.