It was a goal in extra time that secured Croatia's spot in the Fifa World Cup final and now Rotorua's Croatian and French communities are preparing for their teams to go head to head.

There was a little bit of smack talk when Croatian man Damien Radesic and French woman Valerie Janin came together this week ahead of the grand final.

When asked who would win Radesic said Croatia while Janin just laughed and said, "Of course, France".

Both of them have been getting up in the early hours of the morning over the past few weeks to cheer on their home teams and Janine said that, thankfully, Monday would be the last time.

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At 3am on Monday Radesic and Janin will be sitting around the television hoping their team can bring home the win.

"It's the first time in 20 years Croatia has got into the final four," Radesic said. "It's quite an outstanding achievement. Everyone was ecstatic."

French fan Valerie Janin and Croatia fan Damien Radesic are ready for when their teams go head to head in the Fifa World Cup final. Photo / Ben Fraser
French fan Valerie Janin and Croatia fan Damien Radesic are ready for when their teams go head to head in the Fifa World Cup final. Photo / Ben Fraser

He said back home in Croatia and across New Zealand, the community had already started celebrating.

"There is a lot of momentum behind them. Everybody is getting passionate about the final."

France, who won their only title at home in 1998, will have an extra day of rest after beating Belgium 1-0 on Wednesday.

Croatia, coming off 360 intense minutes at football's highest level, face their biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991.

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This is the first time Croatia have reached the World Cup final.

Janin said for both France and Croatia there was a whole generation of young people who had never lived this moment.

Each morning she has been messaging her son, who lives in Auckland, so they could enjoy the games together.

"On paper, France is the best, but you just never know," she said."

Radesic said it would just come down to the best team on the day.

Saturday is Bastille Day, a French anniversary day, so Janin said she would be decking things out with her "red, white and blue".

"Everyone is so happy."

She said on the day she thought it would come down to which team had the best fitness.

"I just hope it doesn't go to penalty shootouts. That's very very stressful. Oh my God."