France World Cup-winning squad to be awarded Legion of Honour

President of France Emmanuel Macron and President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic want to kiss the World Cup held by FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the trophy ceremony following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Millions of French people partied into the early hours of Monday morning after France won the 2018 football World Cup.

When the country won its first World Cup in 1998, when Zinedine Zidane was its talisman and playmaker, the team was referred to as "Black-Blanc-Beur" (Black-White-Arab), a positive reference to its diverse ethnic make-up.

Demonstrators confront riot police during clashes on the Champs Elysees.

For example, Notre-Dame des Champs has become "Notre Didier Deschamps" while the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile station has been changed to "On a 2 Etoiles" (We have two stars).

The 49-year-old is just the third man - after Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer - to win the competition as a player and coach.

"We're going to say thank you!" said Sacha, one of the young players at the palace.

Similar scenes had plagued France's previous World Cup matches against Uruguay and in their semifinal win over Belgium, which included flares being set off near the famous Arc de Triomphe and a heavy police presence in the streets.

It was France's second World Cup title, 20 years after the victorious team led by captain Didier Deschamps, which also earned them a Legion of Honour from then-president Jacques Chirac.

French fans celebrating their World Cup triumph by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Few things can bring a nation together quite like a World Cup success, as highlighted by Les Bleus' triumphant return to Paris on Monday.

"This win is obviously going to have a magnifying effect on France", said Paul Dietschy, a French historian specialising in football at the University of Franche-Comte.

"We've had lots of problems in France these past years", he said at Sunday's festivities, recalling deadly terror attacks. Here, we are all united. "We mix. There is no religion, there is nothing, and that's what feels good".

Broken shop windows, pillage and other destruction lined a section of the Champs-Elysees, the post-game site for revelers.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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