France hails their World Cup heroes as 500,000 fans line the Champs-Elysees
Around half a million France supporters have thronged the streets of Paris to welcome home their national heroes after Didier Deschamps’ World Cup-winning squad returned from Russia on Monday.
The Champs-Elysees was lined with Parisians waving tricolour flags amid a carnival atmosphere following France’s 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Les Bleus won the World Cup for a second time, 20 years after their first triumph on home soil, and thousands of fans took to the streets in the French capital to mark the occasion.
Captain Hugo Lloris led the celebrations on the fabled boulevard after touching down back in the French capital around 5pm local time, with the squad invited to a special reception by President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee.
Raphael Varane holds aloft the Jules Rimet trophy to the thousands of supportersGetty Images
Paul Pogba showed no signs of fatigue as he revelled in the celebrations with his team-mates atop a double-decker bus which wound through the streets of Paris with players taking turns to hold aloft the Jules Rimet trophy.
French fighter jets flew over the famous avenue displaying the tricolour, and President Macron embraced the players once more as he had done at the Luzhniki on Sunday.
The national team's official Twitter account posted a video of defender Benjamin Mendy boarding the bus, with the message: “We go back to France with the Cup and one more star”.
The centre-back has been hailed as one of the players of the tournament, and the 25-year-old believes the youth in the current squad could lead to even more success at Qatar 2022.
"The atmosphere in our dressing room was crazy after the victory," he said.
"Now we need to feel the moment in full. We didn't expect that the Croatia match would be easy, but we stood the test due to our team cooperation. We have a very good team, there are many talented players with a great future."