So by the time everyone in Australia gets to work on the morning of Monday, July 16, we’ll know who is the winner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But is there a way of predicting the winner beforehand?

As most would know by now, the winner will be either France or Croatia, two countries with not only a proud footballing history, but more so, an even prouder architectural one.

So let’s look at the different styles of architecture between France and Croatia and determine do these differences alone enable us to pick a winner for the final.  

According to art site Widewalls, throughout history, the French have given “birth to some of the most famous architectural styles,” with France presenting itself as a “role model for the rest of the world.”

The story of French architecture, says the site,  “begins in the Roman period, when the region of Gaul was under the rule of the Roman Empire.”

The story the continues with the Renaissance, which left a mark in France, where it became the prevalent type of architecture used mostly for designing chateaux and typically affiliated with the royals.

Arc-de-TriompheArc-de-Triomphe / Widewalls

During the reigns of three famous similarly named French kings, Louis XIII, XIV and XV, an era of French Baroque blossomed, which in turn was followed by the Rococo, which was made out from the words rocaille (stone) and coquilles (shell), both of which are recurring themes.

In the second half of the 19th century, Paris was proclaimed the most beautiful city in the world by many, where new streets were accompanied by lines of trees and street fronts became unified by cream-colored stone tiles, and trapezoid-shaped roof tops called a ‘mansard’ become a symbol of French architecture.

Chateau-de-Chambord-in-FranceChateau-de-Chambord-in-France / Widewalls

After the First World War, there were two opposing architectural styles – that of Le Corbusier and Robert Mallet-Stevens found a way to coexist, even though Le Corbusier’s radical urban plans apparently scared the Parisians.

In today’s era of post-postmodernism says Widewalls, we have the glamorous architecture of Jean Nouvel, Derrida and Deleuze, all of who have inspired some of the world’s most famous contemporary architects.

Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower / Widewalls

As for Croatia, according to the site Find Croatia, the Balkan country has some astonishing architectural assets, with the county’s best Roman architectural remains to be found in the coastal cities of Split and Pula: architecturally outstanding complex of Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the extremely well preserved amphitheater in Pula – Istria.

Other significant Roman sites include Zadar and Salona (archaeological site near Solin – Split), while numerous smaller finds are exhibited at the archaeological museum in Split.

TrogirTrogir / Images of a Tourist

Pula / WikiwandPula

The architecture of the Croatian coastal towns is a sign of Croatia’s history too. The architecture styles are mixture of Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, with the most architecturally attractive are old towns being Dubrovnik, Korcula, Trogir, Sibenik and Zadar.

Zadar.JPGZadar / Wikipedia

Croatia will always be renowned for its ancient, medieval and Renaissance treasures, says Timeout Croatia, with Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, and the Cathedral in Sibenik “just three of the UNESCO-protected monuments that the world flocks to see.”

markov-trg-duval.jpgSt. Mark's Square / Duval

But, asks Timeout, “when was the last you time you thought of Croatia as a country of the future?”

Zagreb Airport New TerminalZagreb Airport New Terminal / Croatia News

“It has certainly been at the cutting edge before, building the kind of hotels and sports stadiums in the 1960s and 1970s that are nowadays considered classics of Mediterranean modernism,” notes the tourist site, adding that, “over the past decade a new generation of talented architects and designers have been re-exploring the modernist traditions of their forebears and adapting them to the needs of the country today.”

Neanderthal Musuem, KrapinaNeanderthal Musuem, Krapina / Dezeen

“Croatia’s hybrid heritage of Communist past, capitalist present, Mediterranean style and Central-European cosmopolitanism,” it says, “can all be detected in the Adriatic’s new look.”

The Seagull / WAF

So who will lift up the trophy on Monday morning?

Judging by the photos, I’d say there won’t be much in it, but I will give it to Croatia by a solitary goal.

Then again, as with architecture, only time will tell what prediction was right and which one was wrong.