Jubilant French residents poured out in force on the streets Sunday in celebration of France’s World Cup triumph, which returned the champion’s trophy to France 20 years after its 1998 win.
The French team, which beat Croatia by a score of 4-2, went into the tournament as an underdog but ramped up its game as play wore on. The unexpected nature of this World Cup victory boosted French people’s enthusiasm and fueled their emotional reaction to the outcome.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who traveled to Russia to watch the final, seemed overcome with joy. He was photographed jumping and shouting in his viewing box, which prompted comments on social media that he might expect his popularity, which has taken a hit recently, to rise, as did Jacques Chirac’s in 1998.
In France, thousands of people from all walks of life have been thronging the streets, flooding iconic sites of Paris, from the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Republique. The World Cup victory has also fueled French patriotism, with people waving flags and singing “La Marseillaise.”
Although the country is still under a high terror threat, the heavy security has not dampened the festive spirit on the streets. Some news outlets also noted the diversity of the French team, which boasted a majority of first-generation French citizens, most of them of African heritage.