Fresh off their triumph in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Final, the France players lingered on the pitch for several long minutes, revelling in a happy ending that will be remembered for eternity. A generation of supremely gifted players had overcome the challenge posed by an excellent Croatia side, showing their mettle to run out victorious in a game that they never had under complete control – despite scoring four goals.
They subsequently emerged shouting and singing. It was almost as if they were not quite sure how to express so much joy in one go. Yet, as Benjamin Pavard explained, “The party is only getting started. This is just the beginning: we’re going to savour this win for four years!”
As messages flooded in from their loved ones, the heroes got a glimpse of the scenes of joy that were playing out across France. They were beside themselves. “What? Am I mad? I must be mad! I scored in the Final!” said an incredulous Paul Pogba. Les Bleus congratulated each other, stripped down, cavorted around in nothing but underwear and then got dressed again. The torrential rain during the closing ceremony added an extra touch of charm and mystique to an occasion that no one seemed prepared for.