French Celebrate World Cup Victory

World Cup winners France were welcomed home by hundreds of thousands of supporters as they paraded down the Champs Elysees in Paris on Monday.

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.

Sports Minister Laura Flessel, who met the team at the airport, told Europe-1 radio that the World Cup victory allows France's youth - like those in the poor suburbs where numerous players grew up - "to dare to believe in their dreams".

Even though Croatia went home boasting of a best-ever World Cup performance and a Luka Modric Golden Ball, nothing could match the excitement on the French players' faces as they celebrated into the night.

"We have to ride this wave of optimism", she said before the final.

In Paris, the metro system has temporarily renamed 6 of its stations in honor of the key players, with the Victor Hugo stop - named after the famed 19th-century writer - becoming Victor Hugo Lloris after the team's goalkeeper. The Champs-Elysees Clemenceau has become the Deschamps-Elysees Clemenceau to honour national team coach Didier Deschamps.

Click through the gallery above to see 12 of the greatest players who have never won a World Cup.

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Their destination was the Elysee Palace, where they met with president Emmanuel Macron, who himself was joining in with the team's celebrations in Russian Federation the night before.

"We have won the sympathy of the entire world", said Miroslav Milosevic, legendary coach of the team which reached the semi-final of 1998.

The victory came at a time when many French were in need of good news. Typically, celebrations in France end up with some broken shop windows and other destruction, and Sunday was no exception.

But beyond the dabbing and adoring crowds, the World Cup triumph is a political win for President Macron, who has been promoted a young, dynamic France with an increasingly prominent global role.

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", or French.

Certain acts of violence were also reported in several cities after France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to win the tournament, said Le Parisien.

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