The French national football team was greeted warmly upon their return to Paris on Monday, a day after suffering an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar.
Paris,UPDATED: Dec 20, 2022 08:08 IST
Fans turn out in their thousands to welcome World Cup runners-up France (AP Photo)
By India Today Web Desk: Thousands of fans in central Paris cheered the arrival of the World Cup runners-up French team after they suffered an agonizing penalty shoot-out defeat to Lionel Messi’s Argentina in an enthralling 2022 FIFA World Cup final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar.
After an enthralling 3-3 draw over 120 minutes, Argentina defeated previous title holders France 4-2 in the shootout. The victory was Messi’s first World Cup victory, putting the icing on the 35-year-old’s glittering trophy-laden career, while Argentina won the World Cup for the third time.
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Kylian Mbappe and teammates landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport from Doha just after 8 p.m. local time Monday and descended from the plane in a somber mood. The team passed smiling airport employees holding signs that said “Thank you” and “Paris loves you” without acknowledgment.
In contrast to 2018, when France won the World Cup in Russia, there was no parade down the Champs-Elysees. But to supporters, the location of the reception hardly mattered as they treated Les Bleus to a warm welcome home in the winter evening cold. They lit flares, waved flags, and sang “La Marseillaise” as the players and coach Didier Deschamps entered the Hotel de Crillon’s balcony.
France failed to become the first country to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1958 and 1962, and they failed to secure a third victory over their own, having won the tournaments in 1998 and 2018.
Mbappe, in his first message on Instagram and Twitter following the final defeat, posted a photo of himself, head down, behind the World Cup trophy with the message: “We will be back.” More than 24 million people — eight out of 10 viewers — watched the final on French TF1 television, a record high.
Dec 20, 2022