Unfortunate heroes of the World Cup final, the players of the France team were cheered by thousands of supporters on Monday evening at Place de la Concorde in Paris on their return from Qatar, in an atmosphere of fervor,
Arrived an hour and a half earlier at Paris airport, the players appeared on the balcony of the Crillon hotel to the cheers of the fans, mostly very young people, who waved tricolor flags and chanted “Thank you Blues !” and singing the Marseillaise or the Gala song “Freed from desire”, which became the anthem of the Blues during the World Cup. Some had perched on lampposts or traffic lights, to try to see the Blues if only by a hair.
“A way to give them strength”
The children, the luckiest, had found a perfect place on the shoulders of their parents. “I had to be there, to thank our Blues for everything they have done so far,” said Sandrine Djellas, 53, made up in red and blue. “Getting together here with everyone is my way of giving them strength,” smiles Cheick Touré, a 16-year-old high school student, keen on football, like his friends who came with him to Place de la Concorde this evening. “To be able to commune even if there is not the final victory. To vibrate together is something unique”, said Rabiot at the microphone of French television TF1, before entering the palace.
As they got off the plane, the coach of the Blues Didier Deschamps had sketched a smile, just like Olivier Giroud, who wore a necklace of blue, white and red flowers around his neck. But Kylian Mbappé, his face closed, had rushed into one of the buses parked on the tarmac before reaching the famous Parisian square.
Argentina expected late at night
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Argentinians will have to wait for the arrival of Lionel Messi and his teammates until the middle of the night, local time, but, drunk with happiness, they have already descended by the millions into the streets to celebrate this third World Cup, the last coronation dating back to 1986, at the time of Diego Maradona.
The Blues do not keep the trophy won in 2018 but can be proud of their career. Aware of the enthusiasm aroused by their journey, they decided, despite the cruel outcome, to commune with their fans on the famous Parisian square. The final, called to remain in the legend of football, was played on penalties (4-2) at the end of a crazy scenario: a double from Lionel Messi, best player of the tournament, a hat-trick from Mbappé , top scorer in the competition, and unbreathable extra time (3-3).
More than 24 million viewers followed the event on TF1, a “historic audience record” for French television.