What was initially thought as a Thauvin-centered match came out a little inaccurate after France won over Uruguay in the hands of team captain Paul Pogba (voted best player by FIFA) and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola who successfully saved La Celeste’s first two penalties―from Emiliano Velazquez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta―before Dimitri Foulquier converted the fourth for France, giving the Les Bleuets an overwhelming lead in the FIFA U-20 Final on July 13.
The rhythm of victory cascaded for the French, amidst a jubilant crowd of supporters waving their favorite team’s flag. Blissful Pogba lifted his side’s trophy and chanted a resounding “this is the World Cup, the World Cup, the World Cup” to boast of a new landmark for his beloved team.
On one hand, France is the sixth European squad to champion the tournament (Spain was the last one to hold the prestige in 1999). On the other hand, Uruguay had to painfully embrace its second defeat in a final after losing to Argentina in 1997.
Pogba led the midfield while strikers Yaya Sanogo, Florian Thauvin, and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck scored nine goals to baptize the French brand as the second-highest scoring team of the tournament with 15 goals in seven matches―one goal short of Ghana, which subdued Iraq, 3-0, earlier to finish in the third spot.
The European side conceded only two goals in the knockout round and kept a clean sheet in the final in spite of Samuel Umtiti―who was sent off for a second booking against Ghana―having been removed from the powerhouse roster.
France earned the U-20 World Cup after posting a draw with Uruguay, 0-0, but later sealed penalty shootout in extra time, 4-1.