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World: French fans disappointed with the defeat of the Blues despite an "extraordinary" match


The immense hope of a third star turned into huge disappointment for French supporters on Sunday, after Argentina's victory over the Blues after an "extraordinary" match in the final...

On the Champs-Elysées, the usual meeting place for football parties, several thousand people had braved the cold and the drizzle to follow the match on their mobile phones, AFP journalists noted.

Some cheers and fireworks were heard during extra time, when French striker Kylian Mbappé equalized from the penalty spot.

"We are disappointed, especially with a penalty shootout," explains Louane, 14, who came with her parents from Jura.

But "there were twists and we believed in it," she adds.

"It was an unexpected, extraordinary match, which will go down in football history," reacts Iulian Ionita, 18, wrapped in a blue-white-red flag.

The scenario of this final - France led 2-0 at half-time, which equalized to snatch extra time and penalties - will also be remembered for Romain Balthazar.

“Succeeding in two goals and then one is huge,” explains this 22-year-old engineering student from Reims.

"We came to the Champs on purpose to experience this" and "it's great", he assures us despite the rain.

"In Four Years"

Imeran Rahmi, 20, thought he was "on a roller coaster" thanks to the feat of Mbappé, author of the first hat-trick in the final of a World Cup since the Englishman Geoff Hurst in 1966.

French supporters gathered in a Parisian bar follow the World Cup final between the Blues and Argentina, December 18, 2022 © SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

Despite the defeat, Romain Balthazar says he is "proud" of the course of the Blues during this Qatari World Cup.

"We will have the third star next time".

"In four years it is ours, the Cup," adds Salma Alkaoui, 19.

On the Old Port of Marseille, until then rather calm, the clamor mounted when Mbappé scored his first penalty.

Supporters gathered in front of the windows of the Queen Victoria bar to watch the match, to the chants of "La Marseillaise".

At the striker's second goal, less than two minutes later, the atmosphere ignited with the shooting of fireworks and horns in the streets.

In the third, during extra time, the city of OM even shouted the name of the PSG player.

But the shots on goal got the better of the general enthusiasm.

A supporter follows the extension of the World Cup final between France and Argentina from Paris, December 18, 2022 © SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

"They played very well, the France team did not deserve it. Penalties are always a bit like Russian roulette," Laurent Bergerot, a 44-year-old engineer, told AFP.

"We fought until the end, it was luck," he continues.

Incidents in Lyon

In Bordeaux, Anthony Brebis admitted to being "strongly disgusted" and "still under the influence of emotion" at the end of the meeting.

"We have a young team that didn't have enough experience to exceed 90 minutes," he said, French flag on his shoulders and blue-white-red makeup on his cheeks.

In Grand-Bornand, where biathlon World Cup races were held on Sunday, some 2,000 people gathered in the small square of the Haut-Savoyard village where a giant screen had been installed.

The score at half-time discouraged the less fervent, who slipped away, missing the incredible comeback of the Blues.

On Sunday, 14,000 police and gendarmes were deployed throughout the country, including 2,750 in Paris.

Most of the stores on the famous avenue had lowered the curtain in anticipation of possible incidents.

Security forces charged at the Yves Saint-Laurent boutique, noted an AFP photographer, causing some crowd movement but no tear gas, according to an AFP journalist.

The situation was more tense on Place Bellecour in Lyon, according to AFP journalists on the spot, with firing of fireworks, firecrackers in the air fired by masked demonstrators.

Security forces responded with tear gas.

On Wednesday, the celebrations of the qualification of the Blues for the final had been bereaved by the death of a teenager, knocked down by a driver in Montpellier.


© 2022 AFP

Source: france24

All news articles on 2022-12-18

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