The name of French soccer player Kylian Mbappe is projected onto the Arc de Triomphe as soccer fans invade the Champs Elysees avenue after France won the soccer World Cup final match between France and Croatia, Sunday, July 15, 2018 in Paris. France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World Cup afterglow lifts up conflicted France

July 16, 2018 - 3:39 am

PARIS (AP) — World Cup, World Cup and more World Cup — that's all France is talking about.

"Eternal Happiness" said Monday's headline in sports daily L'Equipe, summing up the mood of many who can't imagine the euphoria will ever fade. The victory glow brightened the Monday morning Paris commute.

France is readying to welcome home the national soccer team for a parade down the Champs-Elysees, where tens of thousands thronged after the team's 4-2 victory over Croatia Sunday.

President Emmanuel Macron exulted on the field and in the locker room with the players, and is hoping their victory gives him a boost, too. The French, though, are more enamored of the players and of their coach, Didier Deschamps.

Sports Minister Laura Flessel said on Europe-1 radio that the victory allows France's youth "to dare to believe in their dreams."

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