The decision was a turning point as Griezmann scored to put France into a lead they would never relinquish, as Les Bleus went on to win 4-2. Dalic said he thought such a decision had no place in a game of such magnitude.
“We played well but the penalty knocked the wind out of us and after that it was very difficult,” Dalic said after congratulating France on their victory. “I just want to say one sentence about that penalty: You don’t give a penalty like that in a World Cup final.”
Dalic also stood by his tactics and plans for the game but lamented two French goals that he thought could have been avoided.
“We wanted to win the World Cup so much, but that’s football,” he said. “The French did not surprise us; we let in two soft goals coupled with an own goal and a penalty.
“What we had in terms of luck in this tournament, we lacked today. When you concede four goals, you cannot expect to win the game.”
Croatia captain Luka Modric, who was awarded the Golden Ball as the World Cup’s best player, thought his team had the upper hand for significant periods.
“We have no regrets because we were the better team for much of the game. Unfortunately, some clumsy goals swung it their way,” Modric said. “They will be celebrating, but we can hold our heads high. When the emotions settle, we will be able to analyse more clearly.”