MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: French President Emmanuel Macron awards Kylian Mbappe of France with the FIFA Young Player Award as President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic look on following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Vive la France! The Best Reactions to France’s World Cup Victory

Even Pelé was impressed enough to weigh in.

July 16, 2018
4 mins read

The soccer tournament that has captured the attention and enthusiasm of the world for the past few weeks came to a close on Sunday, with France winning the title of the 2018 World Cup Champions.

Russia hosted the global event, which showcased a series of fast-paced football matches that always managed to keep fans on the edge of their seats. After various upsets and surprises, two finalists emerged: France and Croatia.

France played Croatia in the game to win it all, making this their second World Cup victory since 1998, when the French team defeated Brazil.

French fans were thrilled with this 4-2 victory. Here are the best reactions to the championship game.

A multicultural victory

Nineteen out of 23 players on the French team are either immigrants or first-generation immigrants. A large portion of the team is African. Approximately half of the team practices the Islamic faith. France’s victory can be attributed to the work of individuals with diverse backgrounds. Their stories represent the span of the entire globe, all connecting to bring home a trophy for the country of France.

Human rights activist Qasim Rashid pointed this out, tweeting that “migration is changing Europe — for the infinitely better.” He added, “Let’s cut out the racism & Islamophobia & realize the beauty of one humanity.” The World Cup may seem like just a series of soccer games, but it is also something that brings countries together, both inter-team and intra-team, by celebrating a common love for soccer. It just seems fit to derive a message of love and humanity from the grande finale.

Emmanuel Macron’s fist pump

France bringing home a World Cup title brought an abundance of joy to all French citizens, including the president, Emmanuel Macron. Macron had been watching the game with other world leaders by his side, including Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović and Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin.

When he saw his country finally land the trophy, he couldn’t resist leaping out of his seat and celebrating with a fist pump, captured in all its happiness on camera by Indy Football.

The legend meets the up-and-comer

When a football fan hears the words “football legend” or “greatest player of all time,” Pelé is the first person that comes to mind. After his breakout performance in the 1958 World Cup, the soccer champion led the Brazilian team to win three World Cup titles. He went down in history as the only teenager to ever score a goal in the World Cup finale.

On Sunday, France’s 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé matched that record by scoring a goal for the French team. Pelé tweeted, “If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again…” Mbappé, probably bursting with excitement at receiving a shoutout from the legendary footballer, responded, “The king will always remain king.” He is right, but perhaps there is room for a prince.

And of course, the champions themselves

After France secured its victory, team manager Didier Deschamps had a press conference to attend. Deschamps most likely walked into it expecting the event to just be a slew of questions and answers about France’s World Cup win, but the French team decided to spice it up a bit. The footballers, led by player Paul Pogba, crashed the press conference in a mob of festivity and triumph, complete with dancing, chanting and champagne flying through the air.

Everyone laughed and cheered along with them. After all, they definitely deserve a celebration.

Maya Ramani, University of Virginia

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Maya Ramani

University of Virginia

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