France coach, players and President Macron react to World Cup victory

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PARIS/MOSCOW (Reuters) – France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the football World Cup on Sunday, handing them their second victory in the competition after a successful campaign on home soil in 1998.

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final – France v Croatia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia – July 15, 2018 France coach Didier Deschamps celebrates winning the World Cup with Alphonse Areola and Blaise Matuidi REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Following are comments, quotes and reactions from the French coach, players and President Emmanuel Macron.

NATIONAL COACH DIDIER DESCHAMPS

“It is really beautiful. It is marvelous. We did not play a great match but we showed a strong mental quality.

“We also scored four goals. We merit it. I am very happy for this team. We are coming from very far and it has not always been easy, but thanks to hard work, they are here and are on top of the world for the next four years.”

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN, SCORER OF A PENALTY

“I don’t know where I am, it is great… Very happy. It was a difficult match. Croatia play a great game. We started timidly. We knew it was a World Cup Final. We got into the game and on counter attacks, we made the difference. Very happy. We look forward to lifting the cup and taking it to France.”

PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

In a tweet, the president said one word: “Merci”

STRIKER OLIVIER GIROUD

“We have been celebrating with everyone and my teammates in the locker room. The president (Macron) was here, likewise President Putin and the Croatian president, who congratulated us.”

France’s Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their second goal.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Giroud said he plans to honor his pledge to cut his hair if France wins the world cup.

“It is expected and I’ll do it.”

KYLIAN MBAPPE, 19-YEAR-OLD STRIKER AND GOAL SCORER

“I’m very happy. I was able to show my ambitions and our collective ambition, which was to win. It was a long road, but it was worth while and we are world champions and very proud.

“It is the life that we wanted, we are proud to make French people happy.

On his goal:

“It was a superb goal, especially since it was a goal that gave us wings.”

PAUL POGBA, MIDFIELDER AND GOAL SCORER

“It is a dream since I was a young boy.”

“I hope we have made you proud.”

What did you tell your teammates before the game?

“I told everyone that we are 90 minutes away from realizing our dream, we are 90 minutes from entering into history books for life, and we were 90 minutes away from making France rock, even children and their children will know about this. So guys, we can do this.

“There are two teams and a Cup and we are not going to let another team take this Cup. That is all I told them.”

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Luke Baker



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