France's heroes met with red carpet welcome, jubilation on return home
The team was honoured with a parade on the famed Champs-Élysées boulevard
The French national team received a red carpet welcome on Monday as they arrived back into Paris to scenes of jubilation after winning the World Cup.
After a night of celebrations that turned into riots and left two dead following the team’s 4-2 win over Croatia on Sunday, captain Hugo Lloris emerged from their Air France plane and raised the gold trophy aloft alongside manager Didier Deschamps, who became only the third person to win the World Cup as player and coach.
The team was honoured with a parade on the famed Champs-Élysées boulevard, the gathering point for national celebrations, after it was cleaned up following partying and unrest the night before. There were 292 people arrested nationwide and isolated clashes between police and rowdy crowds in Paris, Lyon and Marseille.
The players also attended a presidential reception hosted by Emmanuel Macron, who was pictured celebrating wildly during the game in Moscow. His office has promised the Legion of Honour for the players’ “exceptional services” to France.
It was the second World Cup win for France, who secured their first trophy on home soil in 1998. Hundreds of thousands of French fans partied on the streets of Paris and around its landmarks on Sunday, while the country’s newspapers hailed the victory. “History Made” read L’Equipe, while Journal du Dimanche weekly went with “To The Stars”.
The Paris metro system got into the celebratory mood, announcing the names of a number of stations were being briefly changed to honor the players and coach, Didier Deschamps.
Notre-Dame des Champs station was relabeled “Notre Didier Deschamps”, and Victor Hugo was switched to “Victor Hugo Lloris” after the captain and goalkeeper. The Etoiles station is for now "On a 2 Etoiles" (We have 2 stars), to denote France's second World Cup victory.
Millions of fans in France celebrated into the night, honking car horns and flying the tricolour flag while the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe were lit up in the national colours of blue, white and red.
The tournament hosted in Russia lasted from June 14 to July 15, saw fans from all over the world gather to celebrate and support their teams. But others were trying to harm the country, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Sunday that it was the target of almost 25 million cyber-attacks throughout the tournament.
The French team will thank that their defence was just as good as the Russian firewalls (Moscow appeared unharmed by the attacks) as their names will now be tied to the greatest prize in world football for the rest of their lives.
Updated: July 16, 2018 10:17 PM