As France won the FIFA World Cup with a 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow on Sunday night, it was celebration time for not only fans in France but also within the French community across the globe.

As France won the FIFA World Cup with a 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow on Sunday night, it was celebration time for not only fans in France but also within the French community across the globe. While there were celebrations in places like Chandannagar, the erstwhile French enclave in West Bengal, Chandigarh too saw French officials and students celebrating the Les Bleus title win.

“It’s a proud moment for all the French people and it means a lot to the French community here in India. FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events and as millions of fans watched the final, we too were cheering for the Les Bleus. The team will be given a grand reception with a champions parade at Champs Elysees in Paris before the reception by President Emmanuel Macron and we will be watching that on television.

The team selection reflected France’s belief in the younger generation and this title win has also brought hope for the years to come for French football,” shared Sylvain Choin, Director, Alliance Francaise de Chandigarh, Sector 36, as he cut a celebration cake along with teachers and students at the centre. Choin was also impressed with the 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe. “My personal favourite in the team was Blaise Matuidi but Kylian Mbappé’s performance definitely seems like the beginning of a great star that we will look forward to in the coming years,” added Choin.

While France manager Didier Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as captain and manager, 19-year-old youngster Kylian Mbappe bagged the FIFA Young Player award. Mbappe, who became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Pele, is one of the 15 players in the championship-winning World Cup team with African roots. France won its maiden World Cup title in 1998 when the country hosted the event and Sunday’s win also brought back memories of the 1998 triumph for the fans.

“I was a kid when France won the World Cup in 1998. Sunday’s win was a much-needed victory for the French people and gives us a chance to celebrate sports, values of friendship and fraternity apart from reuniting the French. Countries should rise above race, religion and communal issues and the talent in the France team proves that. When I was watching the final, I was a bit anxious as most of the Indian fans were cheering for Croatia. But when we won, they congratulated me and we celebrated together,” said Clementine Pascal, an intern who hails from Quimper in France.

While the Indian fans in Tricity cheered for Croatia, teachers and students teaching and learning French were all rooting for France. “Though most of the students counted Croatia as favourites, the performance of Mbappe and Pogba impressed them all. The youngster showed that he is the future star of world football. And when the team won the title, we cheered with the French flags,” shared Japanjot Kaur, a French teacher at the institute.


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