Croatia, the surprise team of this World Cup, made it to the final for the first time ever. Unfortunately, the quality of Croatian democracy has fallen short of citizens' expectations in recent years. Freedom of the press in particular has come under pressure. There are occasional attempts to influence the media, and public broadcast is susceptible to political parties’ interference. In addition, there is a lack of continuity: not only has the national team replaced the coach twice in the past three years, the prime minister has also been replaced twice since 2015.
French democracy has its very own challenges, which the election campaign last year unsparingly revealed. Nevertheless, due to a stronger fan culture (freedom of speech) and a greater team spirit (social inclusion), the Equipe Tricolore will succeed in this final.