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Soccer fans gather for World Cup final

16 July 2018

Despite the loss, many members of the Croatian-Canadian community are still counting the World Cup as a win for their small country.

But the spirits of the almost one thousand people, mostly from the local Croatian community here in Edmonton, who had shown up to the club on early Sunday morning were not dampened.

"How marvellous! It's a young team, who are on the top of the world", Deschamps said.

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic insisted fatigue will not be an issue for the biggest game of his career despite being pushed to three periods of extra-time to make Sunday's World Cup final.

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"The Croatians will be upset - they'll say they were hard done-by but you felt whatever happened, France would step up a gear and get through it", Neville told ITV. I would like to thank all my players for what they have done.

There was further confusion as Pitana looked at the pitchside monitor, went onto the pitch, then turned back to have another look. It was sportsman-like. It was respectful. How many country leaders do you know that could pull this one off? "Handsome final", he said.

"The turnout is spectacular". "Everyone doubted us but we came to the finals and played out hearts out". So it's unifying, it's wonderful to have that kind of support.

"Hello everyone from the Luzhniki field, it's great here", the group said on Twitter, and released a statement calling for the freeing of political prisoners, an end to "illegal arrests" of protesters and to "allow political competition" in Russian Federation.

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Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic gave a comparatively sombre address and there were no player break-ins or group singalongs for the runners-up.

Starting with only about 70 people during Croatia's first match, Stefanec said the house was packed for the final game.

"The collective is always important but there are individual players who have made the difference", he said.

"I'm not going to bed", he said under the early-afternoon sun.

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Kashmala Fida is an Edmonton-based reporter covering city hall and diversity.

Soccer fans gather for World Cup final