A final few could have predicted when the World Cup fever took over on 14 June! A month later, and the stage is set for the dark horses to clash against Les Blues on 15 July. As the day draws closer and viewers await the finals with bated breaths, here is a recap of all the times these nations have faced each other at the World Cup stage.

France has faced Croatia thrice at the World Cup turf. While two encounters in1954 and 1958 were with Croatia as erstwhile Yugoslavia, the encounter in 1998 was between France and Croatia. Here is a trip down the memory lane                

1954: France 0-1 Yugoslavia; Switzerland:

In their first ever meet as opponents, France met Yugoslavia in the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise stadium in Lausanne. They had been clubbed together in the same group and this match saw Yugoslavia emerging as winners with a 15th minute goal by Milos Milutinovic. Up ahead in the Tournament, France made an unremarkable exit at the Group Stage itself while Yugoslavia lost its next match against West Germany.

1958:  France 2-3 Yugoslavia; Sweden:

The second encounter happened in the very next World Cup as both the nations were clubbed in the same group. In the faceoff that followed, France took lead after Fontaine scored in the 4th minute. However, an equalizer by Aleksandar Petakovic in the 16th minute kept the dream alive! A 63rd-minute goal from Toza Veselinovic put Yugoslavia in the lead which was crushed as Fontaine scored for the second time and put the French on an equal footing at the 85th minute. However, Veselinovic scored in the 88th minute to give Yugoslavia the win.

1998: France 2-1 Croatia; France:

1998 French team is often heralded as the second golden generation with greats like Zidane, Thuram, Henry and present French coach Didier Deschamps who took the team to the semi-finals. Croatia had as its team the first golden generation with players like Suker, Boban, Jarni, and Prosinecki who pushed the team to the semi-finals. This match is remembered most for the red card received by Laurent Blanc. What was even more startling being that the Golden Boot winner Davor Suker gave Croatia a lead in the 46th minute. However, the lead was soon redundant as Lilian Thuram scored in the 47th minute and then brought the game home in the 70th.