Andrej Kramaric and the Croatian national team have missed out on the chance to round off a wonderful tournament. The TSG Hoffenheim forward and his country suffered a 4-2 (2-1) defeat at the hands of France − who have replaced the German national team as reigning world champions and claimed their second world title after 1998 − in a thrilling final.
Andrej Kramaric played a part in the Moscow showpiece, as he had done in each of Croatia's previous six games at the tournament in Russia, but could not bring about the desired turnaround after coming on in the 71st minute. An own goal from Mario Mandzukic (18) and strikes from Antoine Griezmann (penalty, 38), Kylian Mbappé (59) and Paul Pogba (65) had already put France firmly in the driving seat and, despite goals from Perisic (28) and Mandzukic (69) giving the Croatian fans renewed hope, the Balkan nation could not recover to claim the first world title its people had so desperately desired.
Rosen: "Shame it didn't work out for Andrej"
TSG are nonetheless very proud of the 27-year-old, who has represented the club outstandingly at the World Cup and became the first Hoffenheim player to feature in a World Cup final. Speaking after the final whistle, Sporting Director Alexander had some words of praise and consolation for the runner-up: "Shame that Andrej and his team didn't manage to get the title in the end. Nonetheless, the Croats can be very proud, they made footballing history for their country by reaching the final. Now Andrej will enjoy a well-deserved holiday to recharge his batteries and we'll look forward to him rejoining us."
After what will likely be a raucous reception in his homeland − second place is Croatia's best-ever finish, surpassing their legendary bronze medal in 1998 − Andrej Kramaric will enjoy a well-deserved holiday before returning to Hoffenheim for the TSG training camp in Windischgarten at the beginning of August.
Enjoy your break Andrej, everyone at TSG Hoffenheim is proud of you!