Jubilant celebrations erupted throughout the country Sunday as France beat Croatia to win the World Cup. Follow coverage of the reactions to Les Bleus’ victory as it happened with FRANCE 24’s live blog.
- Hundreds of thousands of fans took to the streets of Paris and other cities across France Sunday, celebrating long into the night after France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the World Cup in Russia.
- The festivities will continue Monday when the victorious French squad will parade down the Champs-Élysées in Paris at around 5:00 pm (1500 GMT).
- Croatia’s talismanic midfielder and captain Luka Modric won the World Cup’s Golden Ball, awarded to the player voted the best of the tournament.
- France’s electrifying 19-year-old striker Kylian Mbappé was voted best young player of the tournament
- Didier Deschamps has become only the third manager — after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer — to win the World Cup as both a player and coach.
- Les Bleus’ victorious players shook hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, their own President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian leader Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic before getting their hands on the Jules Rimet.
Here are some reactions from revellers AP reporters spoke to on the Champs-Elysées, including some more sobering thoughts for the future:
“It represents enormous things,” said Goffrey Hamsik, wearing Kylian Mbappe’s N.10 shirt.
“We’ve had lots of problems in France these past years,” he said, recalling deadly terror attacks. “This is good for the morale … Here, we are all united. We mix. There is no religion, there is nothing, and that’s what feels good.”
“We’re happy,” said Frederique Pourquet as she and her friend left the Champs-Elysees. “It took 20 years … It’s the pride of the nation. It unites everyone. It federates.”
The win “shows that the French people are consolidated and the work of all France,” added Omar Bzi.
Mahmoud Bourassi, who runs a youth center in Bondy, Mbappe’s hometown, had some sobering thoughts as he took a longer-term view.
“All this euphoria and effervescence, it’s positive but it’s emotional and ephemeral,” he said, describing sport as a “catalyst to bring people and nations together.”
But, he added, it must be built on: “What we’re seeing is magic, exceptional. But what are we going to do with it tomorrow?”