All the Major Highlights at the World Cup 2018 Final and Closing Ceremony

The 2018 FIFA World Cup reached its denouement today after France defeated Croatia 4-2 to capture its first title in 20 years.

At Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, forward Antoine Griezmann, captain Paul Pogba and rising star Kylian Mbappe led France to its second-ever World Cup win. The thrilling match began with French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic exchanging a friendly handshake as they watched their respective teams battle it out on Russian soil.

World Cup, Emmanuel Macron, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and French President Emmanuel Macron exchange a handshake at the 2018 World Cup final.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Before the match, a closing ceremony to celebrate the past month’s soccer festivities was highlighted by the multitalented Will Smith, artist Nicky Jam and Albanian-Kosovar singer Era Istrefi. The trio performed their single, “Live It Up” — the official song for this year’s World Cup games.

Jam wore a shirt that depicted fellow musician J Balvin’s face. The latter served as a cover star in FN’s late May issue, where he discussed his new album, “Vibras,” and a possible collaboration with sportswear giant Nike.

Will Smith, Nicky Jam, World Cup
(L-R) Nicky Jam, Era Istrefi and Will Smith perform at the closing ceremony for the 2018 World Cup.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

An already exhilarating match, France and Croatia also saw quite a number of major moments that didn’t belong on the field, including a devastating handball for the Eastern European team, sudden inclement weather and a disturbance through pitch invaders claimed by opposition activists Pussy Riot.

The six-goal event was certainly a spectacle for the ages.

World Cup pitch invaders
A pitch invader storms the field at the 2018 World Cup final.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

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