‘We fought until the end’: French World Cup fans sing Les Bleus | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

As Argentinian celebrations swelled from Lusail Stadium in Qatar to the streets of Buenos Aires following Argentina’s dazzling World Cup win, a sombre temper, in distinction, has swept throughout France.

Forward of Sunday night’s closing match, expectant French soccer followers had crowded bars, gymnasiums, metropolis streets and residing rooms throughout the nation in assist of Les Bleus.

However after the sport that went to additional time and a penalty shootout, French supporters had been left downtrodden and dejected as they absorbed the load of the second and what may have been.

In Paris, forlorn followers trudged alongside Champs-Elysees avenue within the chilly evening air, the place the temper was mirrored within the gray winter skies that blanketed the capital metropolis.

“We’re disillusioned, particularly with a end on penalties,” Louane, 14, who had travelled to Paris from the central Jura area to look at the sport along with his mother and father.

France fans on the Champs-Elysees in Paris during the World Cup final between France and Argentina.
France followers on the Champs-Elysees in Paris in the course of the World Cup closing between France and Argentina on December 18, 2022 [Denis Balibouse/Reuters]

“However there have been loads of twists within the sport and we thought it was in attain,” he advised the AFP information company.

The French facet had miraculously clawed their approach again into the sport after permitting Argentina a 2-0 lead early on. That was thanks to a few breathtaking targets from France’s Kylian Mbappe, who virtually singlehandedly staged his side’s unthinkable comeback.

The drama of the match had left French followers sitting on the sting of their seats.

“To return again from a two-goal deficit is unimaginable,” mentioned Romain Balthazar, a 22-year-old engineering pupil who visited Paris with associates to look at the ultimate. “We got here to expertise this on the Champs — it’s fabulous.”

Simply as soon as has a crew ever come again from two targets down within the World Cup closing, and that was West Germany’s 3-2 win over Hungary in 1954, which stays the one time a crew has overcome such a deficit within the match closing.

France followers will take solace although in the awe-inspiring performance by Mbappe, who slid previous Lionel Messi to earn the well-deserved Golden Boot trophy on Sunday because the World Cup’s prime participant. He netted eight targets over the course of the 2022 tournament.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who had travelled to Doha for the second time in per week to assist Les Bleus, mentioned he, too, was “very unhappy and disillusioned”.

Macron had consoled and addressed the distraught crew within the locker room after the sport.

“Les Bleus made us dream,” Macron tweeted after the match.

Disturbances had been reported in Paris as dejected followers clashed with among the roughly 14,000 riot police deployed throughout the nation for the ultimate. Minor skirmishes had been additionally reported final week when police fired tear fuel within the aftermath of France’s semifinal win over Morocco.

In the meantime, Argentina supporters in Paris gathered on the nation’s embassy, positioned a brief stroll from the town’s iconic Arc de Triomphe monument.

“It’s an unimaginable feeling, with this finale for Messi, as a result of we haven’t received since Maradona,” mentioned 30-year-old Argentinian expat Alejandro Gomez.

Within the southern metropolis of Marseille, followers within the historic port district had been additionally left reeling after the match.

“They performed extremely nicely, and didn’t disappoint, however penalty pictures are all the time like Russian roulette,” mentioned Laurent Bergerot, a 44-year-old engineer.

“It got here right down to probability however we fought till the top.”

In Bordeaux, Anthony Brebis, sporting a French flag on his shoulders matched by purple, white and blue paint on his face, made a harsh evaluation of the nationwide facet: “We now have a younger crew that didn’t have sufficient expertise to carry out for greater than 90 minutes.”

French followers looking for redemption will now have to attend for UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany, the subsequent large match through which Les Bleus will compete.

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