Thousands of fans in central Paris have cheered the return of France’s national football team after they lost one of the greatest World Cup finals. Supporters treated their squad to a warm welcome home in the winter evening cold at Place de la Concorde.
They lit flares, waved flags and sang as players emerged on the balcony of the Hotel de Crillon. France played its part in one of the most memorable finishes in World Cup history, even though the defending champion failed to retain the title.
“We feel obliged to, even in defeat, they played an incredible final”, one French supporter said. “And when you’re a supporter, it’s also in defeat. We will win next time.”
Football superstar Kylian Mbappé’s hat-trick helped France draw with Argentina 3-3 after extra time but they couldn’t rally again in the penalty shootout.
“I’m happy to say thank you to them for what they have done and to show that we are behind them despite the defeat”, another French supporter said.
“It brings the French people together and it’s nice to see them come here tonight.”
It marked a joyous return for the players after a fantastic tournament.
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