Paris: Millions of French soccer fans were delirious with joy on Sunday as France beat Croatia 4-2 to win soccer’s World Cup in a pulsating final in Moscow that sparked ecstatic scenes from Paris to Marseille and beyond.
In Paris, where 90,000 people gathered next to the Eiffel tower to watch the match on vast TV screens, there were choruses of the Marseillaise, honking horns and hundreds of thousands of red, white and blue French flags fluttering in the breeze.
The boom of fireworks and firecrackers filled the air and car drivers honked their horns incessantly to celebrate France’s second world title after their triumph on home soil in 1998.
A deafening chorus of “We are the champions, We are the champions” rang out from the Sacre Coeur in the north of the city to the Sorbonne on the Left Bank.
Even before the final whistle, crowds streamed on to the Champs Elysees, the elegant, tree-lined boulevard that runs up to the Arc de Triomphe, the traditional gathering place for celebration, including the Bastille Day parade 24 hours earlier.
France coach Didier Deschamps was full of praise for his team despite signs of nerves at the start of the game and several missed opportunities during it.