It's the moment the Croatian team could make history.

But Kiwi football legend Ivan Vicelich will be so tense he won't be able to have his sons around as he watches them square off against the French in the World Cup final tomorrow morning.

"It's pretty tense and there is a bit of screaming, yelling," Vicelich said.

"They are 6 and 10 so they'll probably stay at home and watch it in bed with their cousins."


Vicelich proudly wore the All Whites uniform 96 times in some of the world's greatest arenas.

But tomorrow the 41-year-old - who also played professionally in top leagues in China and Holland - will be firmly rooting for his beloved Croatia, where his grandparents migrated from.

Vicelich was a rock of the All Whites' defence during his 19-season international career but he reckons what awaits him watching a TV screen will be more stressful than anything he faced on the pitch.

"Sometimes it easier to be on the field," he admitted.

It's the first time Croatia have made the final and despite the early morning kickoff of 3am NZT, several bars around the country have planned special events around the game.

Vicelich, and his wife Marisa, plan to head to the Croatian Club in West Auckland as he did for the nail biting semifinal against England.

And he's hoping for the same victorious result.

There will be bacon and eggs on offer for the 200 or so expected at the club but Vicelich won't be eating until after the final whistle.

"Not many people eat while they are watching, it's when the tension starts and people are focusing on what is going on the screen.


"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity so that's the focus. You get in that supporting game mode and you are focused on the screen; on the game. Emotions take over."

Vicelich, who was famously pictured next to Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo when awarded the Bronze Ball as the third best player at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013, said the semifinal against England brought a rollercoaster of emotions.

When England took the early lead the room quietened but then the team grew in confidence.

"Their football got better and better as the game went on until the equaliser and then winning the game so that was great. Amazing result.

"The atmosphere was pretty cool at that point."

He said the same could happen tomorrow.

"In football anything can happen, we have seen that in the other games.

"Whatever does happen it's amazing for Croatia to be there, it's an amazing result."

The Final Showdown

Who: France v Croatia
Kick-off: 3am (NZT)
How to watch: Live on Sky TV and Prime TV
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (capacity 80,000)
TAB odds: France $1.42, Croatia $2.70

Stars to watch
France: Antoine Griezmann
The 27-year-old is signed to Spanish club Atletico Madrid and in 2016 was a nominee for Fifa's best men's player award. His contract – which runs until 2023 - is worth a cool $375,000 a week. Off the field, a dance move has been named after him.
Croatia: Luka Modric
The 32-year-old plays for Spanish glamour club Real Madrid and is the Croatian captain. His contract with Real Madrid is worth a staggering $351,000 a week and in 2015 became the first Croatian to be named in Fifa's World 11.

National trivia
France: Each year more people visit Disneyland Paris (an estimated 13 million) than both the Eiffel Tower (5.5m) and the Louvre (5m) combined.
Croatia: Croatia is home to the world's smallest town; with Hun, in the Istria region, having a population of just 21.