The second World Cup win in France’s football history led to wild celebrations across the nation, while few clashes between police and fans also took place in several cities.
France had reserved their best for the last as they crushed Croatia 4-2 in the FIFA World Cup 2018 final to be crowned world champions on Sunday.
The French football fans got exactly what they wanted as the final in Russia became the highest-scoring final since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 60 years ago.
Millions of French football fans were delirious with joy as Hugo Lloris lifted the trophy with people waving the French national flag on the streets. A huge crowd was also gathered at the Eiffel Tower which was lit up in French colours. 90,000 people had gathered to watch the match on vast TV screens next to the iconic tower.
However, French police were forced to fire tear gas and dispersed crowds from the Champs Elysees after clashes with a small group of unruly fans threatened to spoil celebrations.
A small number of fans clashed with police, damaging some businesses and properties along the Champs Elysees, while some threw stones and other projectiles at riot police who responded with teargas.
A decision was made by security officials to disperse the crowd, BFM TV said. It said minor crowd trouble was also reported in the city of Lyon.
France had mobilised around 110,000 security staff for the Bastille Day festivities on Saturday and World Cup football final on Sunday.
Back in Zagreb, fans didn’t lose heart even after Croatia’s loss as the country produced its best performance in a World Cup but sadly ended as runners-up.
People on the streets were definitely disappointed at the result but they still lit up flares and waved the national flag to celebrate Croatia’s amazing run in the tournament.
Croatian players have cemented their place as legends back in their nation as they helped Croatia reached their first World Cup final in history.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic told his players they should be proud of their sensational World Cup run and their performance in the final on Sunday despite losing 4-2 to France at the Luzhniki Stadium
“Of course, we are downcast, but I told them ‘hold your heads up high. You have no reason to feel dissatisfied, you have given your all and you have to be proud of your performances at this tournament’,” he told a news conference.
“Chin up lads, if somebody had offered us to be runners-up at the start of the tournament, that would have been fantastic.”
Croatia, with a population of only 4.2 million people, were not among the favourites at the start of the tournament. Their progress to the final gripped the imagination of the Balkan nation and members of the Croatian diaspora living in countries from Germany to Australia.
Croatia will stage on Monday a welcoming party for the soccer team in Zagreb. Thousands of Croat fans are expected to come to the main Zagreb square in the early afternoon when the players are due to arrive.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic appealed to employers to let staff leave work early to join the celebration. Train tickets will be 50 percent cheaper for those wishing to travel to Zagreb from other Croatian cities for the occasion.
News credit : Indiatoday