But Didier Deschamps' team did just enough to get the job done against opponents who must have felt the effects of playing 450 minutes in 15 days.
And where the rebound fell perfectly for Paul Pogba - to superbly convert France's third goal - nothing bounces Croatia's way in the box.
Deschamps, written off as a boring player and coach even though he now joins an elite club - alongside German Franz Beckenbauer and Brazilian Mario Zagallo - to have won the World Cup in both capacities, deserves credit for managing a billion-dollar squad and convincing them to work together for the greater good. At times, the 19-year-old has looked unplayable!
"They know what is at stake, but if they are unable to give their all they will tell us".
"I think that our team is quite calm".
Pitana consulted VAR when the ball connected with Ivan Perisic's hand inside the Croatia penalty area and judged that the winger had deliberately blocked it, awarding a spot-kick that was scored by Antoine Griezmann to make it 2-1 to France at that time. "I'm really happy for this group". The Paris Saint Germain star dribbled to his right, forcing French defender Benjamin Pavard to his left.
In the end, Croatia did all the running but France did more of the scoring.
Mississauga has a proud, tight-knit Croatian-Canadian community, said Erica Zlomislic, who works with the Croatian Heritage Association.
"Today we did not do everything right but have those mental and psychological qualities which were decisive - and we did score four goals". "We dominated and then the penalty was given".
Impressively, they won the final without a major contribution from Ngolo Kante, their defensive anchor and the best protector of a back-line in the game, who has formed such an excellent partnership with Pogba in the centre of the field. Beaten on penalties by Italy in the 2006 final, France's hunger is all the greater after the agony of their defeat as hosts against Portugal in the Euro 2016 final.
Whatever the result might be, it has been arguably the best World Cup since a long time and at the final step "may the best team win".
Neymar was roundly criticised for what many fans perceived to be play-acting during the tournament, with the most contentious incident taking place after he dramatically writhed around after Miguel Layun trod on his ankle during the Selecao's 2-0 win over Mexico.