'Eternal happiness' as France celebrates World Cup victory

'Eternal happiness' as France celebrates World Cup victory

Javier Howell
July 17, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of supporters came out to Paris' Champs Elysees on Monday to welcome home their victorious national football team one day after they won the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

One instance required riot police to be called to the Nike store on Champs Elysee-a major street in Paris.

"Pogba, Mbappe, Grizou (Griezmann) - they're on top of the world", he said, naming three of the standout players.

Their destination was the Elysee Palace, where they met with president Emmanuel Macron, who himself was joining in with the team's celebrations in Russian Federation the night before.

One station, Notre-Dame des Champs, will now be called Notre Didier Deschamps (Our Didier Deschamps), in an homage to the coach.

"We often emphasise the failures of integration [of foreigners], but the reality is that people have integrated rather well", he said.

Over 3,000 people are reported to be attending Macron's reception for the World Cup winners, including an estimated 1,000 youth players from football clubs across France.

The celebrations were spread across the nation.

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Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the national team are "the first in the world for me", adding: "People are happy as if we have won and that's the way it should be".

The team returned from Moscow to Paris on Monday afternoon and paraded the trophy down the Champs Elysees avenue before meeting with Macron and his wife Brigitte at the presidential palace.

Shocking footage has been shared on social media showing fans kicking off in central Paris last night, where there were reports of looting and fans clashing with police.

Some 4,000 police and security forces have been deployed across Paris during the World Cup festivities, and a vast security perimeter prohibiting vehicle access has been set up around the Champs Elysees avenue.

Fans partied across France overnight, but celebrations in some cities were marred by violence.

French President Emmanuel Macron exulted on the field in Moscow, hugging players as they received their medals even as the heavens opened up and poured down on everyone, and congratulating the players again in the locker room.

Macron will be relieved that an evening of joyous and occasionally chaotic celebrations back home passed off without any major incident following a string of terror attacks in France since 2015 that have claimed almost 250 lives.

At least two people lost their lives Sunday in France during celebrations for the country's World Cup 2018 win over Croatia.