President Emmanuel Macron intervened to ask French players to greet fans after their defeat in the World Cup final, leading to a brief public ceremony, the head of the French football federation said. on Tuesday. The head of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, told AFP in a statement that the French players initially wanted to go straight home on Monday after the penalty loss to Argentina the previous evening. “Under the weight of disappointment, sadness and such strong emotions, I understand this choice and I respect it,” he said.
“The situation changed around 10:00 a.m. (Monday) after a conversation with the president, who wanted a moment of communion. Naturally, I agreed to join the group,” he added.
After a confusing day of conflicting claims, the French players finally appeared for a few minutes on Monday night on the balcony of the five-star Crillon hotel at the historic Place de la Concorde. About 50,000 people gathered in the square to wave, cheer and sing the national anthem, many waiting more than four hours in the dark and cold.
Despite the mostly carnival atmosphere, some in the crowd grumbled that the players could barely be seen as they waved from the balcony behind the wide police barricade. Several French players said they were happy to see the crowds come to watch.
“Honestly, it’s amazing, it warms the heart, it’s nice to see that we can make so many French people proud and happy,” striker Marcus Thuram told TF1 TV.
The reaction in France has been strongly in favor of the national team that was close to winning the World Cup despite a string of injuries to high profile players such as the Ballon D’Or winner. Karim Benzema and a virus in the camp last week. Macron’s performance at the final at Lusail Stadium outside Doha on Sunday prompted many near-team comments.
The 44-year-old football fan could be seen jumping out of his seat during the match before descending to comfort the distraught players late in the game as they fell to the ground after the penalty shootout. save. The center man then gave a supportive talk after the game in the dressing room, leading to some domestic opponents and commentators criticizing him for intruding too much on the team’s space.
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