Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe standout stars for Croatia and France
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and France sensation Kylian Mbappe are standout stars ahead of World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday
Last Updated: 15/07/18 4:23pm
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and France sensation Kylian Mbappe have been sensational in Russia - but do the stats back it up?
Both players are at polar ends of their international careers and will come head to head in the World Cup final at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday, but in what areas do they excel?
Luka Modric helped Croatia overcome a one-goal deficit to beat England 2-1 in extra-time and qualify for their first World Cup final on Wednesday evening,
The veteran playmaker has made a big impression on the world stage this summer, being instrumental during their clean sweep of wins in Group D and smashing a long-range stunner against Argentina.
Modric has influenced games by taking a squad-topping 535 touches - only bettered by Spain's tiki-taka specialists Isco and Sergio Ramos across the tournament.
Crucially, the Croatian's touches have been meaningful and penetrated opponents, leading to 412 passes - of which 289 were in the opposition's half and 147 in the attacking third.
In addition, the 32-year-old ranks fourth across the entire tournament for sweeping up loose balls with 48 recoveries.
Those stats alone would boost any side in Russia but his contribution in front of goal has also been world class, creating 16 chances for his team - behind only Neymar (23), Kevin De Bruyne and Kieran Trippier (both 17).
In addition to his wonder goal, Modric also converted a penalty to secure three points in the group opener against Nigeria - maintaining composure to double the lead and set the tone for their current six-game win streak.
Kylian Mbappe hit the headlines after shining for Monaco during their Champions League campaign in 2016/17, before signing for Paris Saint-Germain on loan last summer and securing a £166m permanent move.
This summer, Mbappe stunned the world during a pulsating 4-3 win over Argentina, bursting at breathtaking speed from the halfway line before Marcos Rojo dragged him down to concede a penalty before going on to score two of his own in the second half.
Surprisingly, that sprint only registers as the 45th fastest of the tournament at 32.4km/h - the 37th fastest player - with Cristiano Ronaldo and Ante Rebic both clocking the fastest speed of 34km/h.
But the frequency of those runs has terrified opposition defences in Russia, coupled with a tournament-topping 52 dribbles - surpassing Neymar (46) and Eden Hazard (43) during his 444 minutes on the pitch.
The 19-year-old is the second-youngest player in Russia, offering an abundance of youthful energy and endurance - facets particularly useful during the gruelling knockout schedule at a World Cup.
Despite his age and agile frame, one lesser-known quality is the Frenchman's ability in the challenge, winning 47 duels - only eight players across the competition have managed more.
The teenager could propel his career to unprecedented levels during the modern era on Sunday, while veteran Modric will look to etch his name into history and captain his side to their first trophy in what will almost certainly be his World Cup swansong.
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