Clashes, road accidents mar French World Cup celebrations

French President Emmanuel Macron takes his seat while his wife Brigitte Macron looks on before attending the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris France Saturday

France erupted in joy on Sunday as the country clinched the World Cup, with fans streaming into the streets, honking vehicle horns and flying the tricolore flag at the start of an enormous national celebration. The Arc de Triomph was awash in the national colors, lit with the rooster, the faces of the winning team and the words "Proud to be Blue".

L'Equipe, France's authority on all things sport, ran with the headline "An Eternal Happiness" on top of a picture of the team lifting the Jules Rimet trophy high into the air, along with a message underneath stating that twenty years after their last success ' The Blues of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann wrote their own legend'.

Laurent Joffrin, editor of the leftwing Liberation newspaper, said they had lived up to the ideal of "the republic that we love: united and diverse, patriotic and open, national without being nationalist".

One station, Notre-Dame des Champs, will now be called Notre Didier Deschamps (Our Didier Deschamps), in an hommage to the coach.

Victor Hugo station is being renamed Victor Hugo Lloris after captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. "It is marvellous. We did not play a great match, but we showed a strong mental quality", Deschamps said. "We're the champions of the world!"

(French) AP EDIT# 4163632 / 1 "This is extraordinary". More than 230 fan areas are set up across France, from big cities such as Lyon and Bordeaux to smaller ones like Nantes and Angers, with each requiring security precautions.

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President Emmanuel Macron, who travelled to Moscow to watch the final with his wife Brigitte, hugged the players after the win and stood with them in the pouring rain.

In all, 292 people had been detained for unruly conduct throughout France, according to figures released by the Ministry of the Interior, with 45 police officers injured in the furore - though none seriously.

Rudi Ranogajec, who helped organize the events in the hall of the Croatian Catholic Church St. Leopold Mandic, said regardless of the outcome, just making it to the final is the "biggest sporting event in our country's history".

"Thank you, heroes! - You gave us everything!" read the Sportske Novosti front page.

Croatia playmaker Luka Modric was voted best player of the tournament, Belgium's Thibaut Courtois was named the best goalkeeper and Harry Kane of England won the Golden Boot as top-scorer with six goals.

France has mobilized around 110,000 security staff for the Bastille Day festivities and World Cup soccer final.


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