The month-long tournament ends with the high-voltage final on Sunday at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium.

France and Croatia fans play a friendly amateur football match at the Red Square in Moscow on July 14, 2018.
France and Croatia fans play a friendly amateur football match at the Red Square in Moscow on July 14, 2018. (AFP)

Croatia and France football fans on Saturday took to the streets of Moscow cheering for their teams ahead of the World Cup final on Sunday.

Fans from both countries were singing, dancing and waving their national flags on Nikolskaya street in downtown Moscow.

History though hasn't been kind to the French in Russia. 

But asTRT World's Paul Scott reports, France's current generation is hoping to return to a hero's welcome.

Reconnecting with countrymen

Croatia fan Nicolas Grbac, who lives in Moscow, said it was amazing to reconnect with his countrymen visiting the tournament.

His family was displaced from Croatia in the 1990s during the war, and Grbac grew up in Austria.

"I feel a little bit like at home when I'm in the Croatian community. That of course I like," he said.

Grbac predicted a win for the homeland.

TRT World's Lance Santos has more.

Croatia are 'tired'

France fans were equally convinced of their own victory, saying the French team were less tired than Croatia, who have been playing extra time and penalties.

"It's true that Croatia has a strong team with good players...but they are tired, they have had three matches with extra time, two penalty shoot-outs," said Alexandre Guillard.

"We saw against England that they were really quite tired, so I think France is getting stronger and are a lot less tired, and I think it will be 3-0." 

France and Croatia meet at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium in a high-voltage game.

Belgium finishes third at World Cup

For Belgium and England, the third-place match at the World Cup was more like a dress rehearsal for future finals.

At least they hope.

The Belgians earned their best World Cup finish by beating England 2-0 on Saturday in a match both saw as the start of a push for the European Championship title in 2020 or the World Cup in 2022.

Belgium's Thomas Meunier scores their first goal.
Belgium's Thomas Meunier scores their first goal. (Reuters)

"With this winning mentality you can win trophies," said Eden Hazard, who scored Belgium's second goal. 

"In two years, in four years, we will be better. We have young players. They are very good also in the team. They push all of us."

Thomas Meunier and Hazard both scored at St. Petersburg Stadium in a match between the two semi-final losers.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies