It was a victory for all of France and the home crowd did it justice, pouring into Paris' Champs-Elysees Avenue by the tens of thousands to celebrate in an explosion of joy.
France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday marked the second time in 20 years that France have won the World Cup, and came at a time when the people feel needy.
"It represents enormous things," said Goffrey Hamsik, dressed in a hat resembling a rooster – the French national symbol – and a shirt with the Number 10 for Kylian Mpappe, the 19-year-old breakout star, who hails from the Paris suburb of Bondy.
"We've had lots of problems in France these past years," he said, recalling deadly terror attacks. "This is good for the morale, here, we are all united. We mix. There is no religion, there is nothing, and that's what feels good."
Troublemakers marred some of the festivities at the top of the Champs-Elysees, breaking the window of a major store, throwing bottles, temporary barriers and even a bicycle at riot police as the celebrations wound down close to midnight. Police responded with water cannon and tear gas. BFM-TV reported that the store was pillaged.
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A few fans in Zagreb (Croatia) felt that Croatia were the better team in the final, even though they lost.
“We were better than France, we deserved to win. It is pity that they scored four goals,” said a Croatian fan.
Another Croatian fan expressed that they will win the World Cup in 20 years.
We were better than them but we conceded unfortunate goals. The second place is a big deal for a small country like ours. We were once third, now second, in 20 years we will be first.
(With inputs from AP)