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HomeSportNo hard feelings … French fans set to greet vanquished Fifa World...

No hard feelings … French fans set to greet vanquished Fifa World Cup finalists in Paris

Paris – France’s football players are expected to greet fans in Paris on Monday after their defeat to Argentina in an extraordinary World Cup final that has sparked widespread pride in the team.

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Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said the players planned to go to the Place de la Concorde in the French capital after their plane touches down at 6 pm (1700 GMT) at Charles-de-Gaulle Airport.

“They want to go to thank their supporters, to spend some time on Place de la Concorde which they have chosen in theory with the French Football Federation,” she told France Inter radio.

She noted however that the idea had not yet been confirmed.

France lost on penalties on Sunday after a pulsating game that finished 3-3, enabling Argentinian captain Lionel Messi to lift the World Cup in what is expected to be his last appearance at the competition.

“Invited to the coronation of Lionel Messi, Les Bleus were heroic,” said L’Equipe sports newspaper, taking a magnanimous tone that was mirrored elsewhere in France.

Most commentators hailed the drama-filled game that was dominated by Argentina for the first 80 minutes before a quickfire double by Kylian Mbappe ignited France.

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“Proud of our Bleus,” read a headline on the front page of Le Parisien newspaper with a picture of the team standing together during the penalty shootout.

“Football is often more than a sport. In the run up to Christmas, this World Cup has been a magnificent present,” the right-wing newspaper Le Figaro said in an editorial.

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A total of 24.08 million people watched the match on Sunday on TF1 television, an all-time record audience for a French network, the channel said.

The interior ministry said that 227 people were arrested in France after the game, with 47 in Paris.

AFP

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