Didier Deschamps proclaimed France’s second World Cup triumph was “just as beautiful” as their first after leading them to glory again 20 years on, but Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said that Deschamps' team "did not play football."
"I'm disappointed because we lost the game, we played much, much better football than them, but on the other hand I'm proud of this team and what we have achieved," Lovren said.
"We played beautiful football again. France were one of the favourites to win the World Cup and they did it. I think we were better. They did it another way. They didn't play football, they waited for their chances and they scored. They had their own tactic and you need to respect that. They played the tournament like that, every game, but when you look at all the countries behind us, we're second.” he added.
"There's nothing to talk about now. It's difficult to describe. Maybe after a week or two, a couple of months... right now, it's difficult. Some moments I feel sad, some moments I'm happy. Overall, I'm proud."
Ivan Perisic conceded the first-half penalty after referee Nestor Pitana penalised him for handball following a VAR review.
"I was sure he would not give the pen," said the Liverpool centre-back. "From my point of view, he [Perisic] could not react.
"It was a critical moment, we came back at 1-1, and then this penalty and then 3-1, 4-1, but even then we didn't stop playing football, we still believed, we gave everything, and this is why people are proud now in Croatia."
Didier Deschamps' side had claimed a 1-0 over Belgium in the semifinals with a defensive masterclass which left Belgium star Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois deeply unimpressed with what he felt were overly cagey tactics by France in the semi-final, and now Lovren also felt the frustration of coming up against Deschamps's style. Not always the most entertaining, however, in the end, French squad just had too much talent at its disposal to get the job done.