The French Champions team and World Cup Heroes came home to receive a heroes’ welcome on Monday as their victory parade at the Champs Elysees was packed with hundreds of thousands of people.
The metro system in France also temporarily six of its key stations in honor of the key players in the team. Victor Hugo stop becomes Victor Hugo LIoris in honour of the team’s goalkeeper.
Deschamp had two stations renamed in his honour. He in addition to being the coach of this winning team also captained the national team that won the first World Cup on home soil in 1998. Deschamp has become one of the three men who have won the World Cup both as player and coach, the other two being Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.
France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the finals on Sunday in Russia, with Kylian Mbappe sealing the victory and reaffirming his place as a global superstar.
The players in addition to a heroes’ welcome by fans received a “water salute” by the fire brigade on their arrival at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. The fire brigade sprayed the Air France jet with arcs of water as it taxied to the gate with the World Cup Heroes onboard.
The team’s captain Hugo LIoris and coach Didier Deschamps were the first to emerge from the aircraft with the golden trophy onto a freshly laid red carpet.
Millions of football fans in the country celebrated by honking car horns and flying the country’s flag well into the night. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe were not left out as these were lit up in national colors of blue, white and red.
Crowds had gathered early Monday on the Champs Elysees, where national celebrations take place, for the World Cup Heroes team’s parade on top of an electric bus.
“We’re so proud of this team, they have truly become our players,” said Priscilla Lagneaux, 28, who was waiting with friends under a wilting sun on the avenue. “We had to see them, and also the Cup.”
Laurent Joffrin, editor of the leftwing Liberation newspaper, said they had lived up to the ideal of “the republic that we love: united and diverse, patriotic and open, national without being nationalist”.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron is expected to award the Legion of Honour, France’s top honour to the team for their “exceptional services” to the country.