World Cup Final: France Vs. Croatia It's time for the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia. Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to David Henry Sterry, co-author of The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatic's Guide, about what to expect.
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World Cup Final: France Vs. Croatia

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World Cup Final: France Vs. Croatia

World Cup Final: France Vs. Croatia

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The World Cup is underway. NPR doesn't have the right to broadcast the game. But we did want to hear from fans, so we're going to take you right now to a sun-drenched island. We called around halftime. The Maritimo bar on the Croatian island of Dugi Otok. And may I ask who's on the line right now? Introduce yourself.



NISTAN: ...Sargon Nistan (ph). That's just a flare that went off behind me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) It sounds like it's a lot of excitement there. Give me the scene. What are people doing...


GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Right now?

NISTAN: There's a lot of people. There's a lot of music. There's a lot of noise. Everybody's by the marina where the sun is shining. And there's boats on the sea. And you can see the islands around us. But it's - you know, people are still confident. We come to work.


NISTAN: There's a - the sound you can hear is an air raid siren that people have just installed just to, you know, add to the atmosphere. But...


NISTAN: ...I think people are pretty confident. And people are pretty proud of (unintelligible). And we already overcame more (unintelligible), so we think we're going to win.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful. I hear you have some friends with you, so yeah, if you'd like to pass the phone.

NISTAN: Sure. I'm going to pass it to Etienne, who's a French tourist visiting Dugi Otok this week and just happens to be here for the final. So I'll pass you over to him.



GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi, Etienne. What's your full name?

CHOUZET: It's Etienne Chouzet (ph).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So Etienne Chouzet, tell me - what is it like to be watching the World Cup among the enemy?

CHOUZET: It's like a party here. You know, when we planned to go there, we didn't know that Croatia and France will be in the final, so, you know, I'm hiding a bit...


CHOUZET: ...Because I don't want to - everybody know that I'm French because I think we are only two French here.


CHOUZET: So around a lot of Croatian people, so we're just hiding...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Your surrounding - so you're staying quiet.

CHOUZET: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. We handshake at every goal, like, in secret. Yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter). Are you having a good time, though?

CHOUZET: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, very, very, very well.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Well, listen. Bonne chance to you and...

CHOUZET: Thank you very much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...To everyone there. Have a great time.

CHOUZET: Yeah. Thank you very much.

NISTAN: Hey there. I'm going to pass you now to Ivan, who's a guy from Zagreb, which is the same hometown as Modric, Croatia's captain and best player. So he's got to jump on a catamaran boat to take him to Zagreb right now, so I'm going to pass you over quickly.



GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. Hello. What's your full name?

MERKENICH: My name is Ivan Merkenich (ph).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Ivan, so tell me. You're from the hometown of one of the great players of the Croatian team. What does it feel like right now?

MERKENICH: Yes, I am. I am, actually. He went to the same grade school as me, so I'm very proud of this. I think, you know, whatever happens today, it's going to be a great success for Croatia since, you know, we made it to the final. So if we lose, if we win, we're celebrating tonight. It's going to be crazy.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I'll let you get back onto your catamaran. I understand that you're about to take off across the water, so good luck. How do you say good luck in Croatian?

MERKENICH: Thank you. Thank you very much. Good luck is sretno.



GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sretno. OK. Sretno. Thank you so much.

MERKENICH: Thank you. Bye.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Bye-bye. So there you have it - French and Croatian fans together at the Maritimo bar in the village of Sali, watching the game.

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