World Cup win gives France new set of heroes, needed boost

Macron cheers from the stands, then ‘dabs’ in the changing room

At least two people lost their lives Sunday in France during celebrations for the country's World Cup 2018 win over Croatia.

He also promised unions that his presidency was entering a "new phase" in which he would listen to them more closely after a year of whirlwind reform in which he largely ignored their protests.

Six Paris metro stations were temporarily renamed in honour of France's World Cup winning champions after their 4-2 rollercoaster victory against Croatia.

World Cup, World Cup and more World Cup - that's all France is talking about.

Jets saluted the players and the coach overhead, trailing smoke in French red, white and blue.

"Don't change", he said, adding, "Never forget where you come from".

An open-top bus with players, coaches and staff made its way through Paris and up the Champs-Elysees to meet with President Emmanuel Macron for a reception before an ecstatic, colourful crowd numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow on Sunday to win the tournament for the second time in 20 years.

The first couple then posed with the team as they sang the Marseillaise national anthem and waved scarves for a joyous group photo, before heading inside for a private meeting.

Youth from the home club of Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old breakout star from the Paris suburb of Bondy, were present at the victory party. "This team is attractive because it was united".

French goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris hold the Jules Rimet Trophy on returning to Paris.

'We are trying to give a good image for France, for French players. "It represents enormous things", said Goffrey Hamsik, dressed in a hat resembling a rooster - the French national symbol - and a shirt with Mbappe's No. 10 number.

Celebrations were spread across the nation, and among the still-dazed French players themselves.

Macron will be relieved that joyous and occasionally chaotic celebrations across the country on Sunday night passed off without any major incident following a string of terror attacks in France since 2015 that have claimed almost 250 lives. We had a team nobody saw coming.

"The atmosphere in our dressing room was insane after the victory", he said.

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