Their progress to the final gripped the imagination of the Balkan nation and members of the Croatian diaspora living in countries from Germany to Australia.
"But what they have done today is just as big and just as attractive", said Deschamps.
Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe both scored in the second half to put France out of sight, and they could even afford to see Mandzukic pull a second goal back for Croatia after an very bad Hugo Lloris mistake. Deschamps was the captain of the team that won the title at home in 1998.
"We were anxious about the result because Croatia plays very aggressive football", said Sylvie Wahl, 55.
Croatia can cause a massive upset, but France are favourites as Moscow basked in sweltering summer sun and the world's spotlight on the big day of the World Cup final.
To the final, a final which seemed to adequately sum up Russian Federation 2018.
A last-16 berth represented the minimum requirement for the hosts, and their journey looked certain to come to an end against Spain - particularly after Sergei Ignashevich turned the ball into his own net in the 11th minute.
Macron was on the pitch to greet and hug the French players and also went into the dressing room after the game to celebrate with the players and commend them on their success of winning France's second World Cup.
The performance of sides like Croatia, Belgium, Sweden, Uruguay and Russian Federation and the rise of others like Japan, Senegal and South Korea made this a most entertaining, suspenseful and globalised World Cup.
The tournament exploded into life on day two, when Egypt 0-1 Uruguay and Morocco 0-1 Iran were followed by a thrilling 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal. And who doesn't enjoy seeing a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick, amirite?
Mbappe is officially a World Cup victor at the age of 19 and wasn't a benchwarmer either, playing a crucial part in his nation's second ever win of the trophy.
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