Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Croatians hope for World Cup image, economic boost

Croatians hope for World Cup image, economic boost

The small country of 4 million people has been gripped in euphoria since its team beat England to reach its first World Cup final, where Croatia lost 4-2 to France.

As the bus headed towards a reception at the Elysee Palace, nine jets from France's acrobatic unit, the Patrouille de France, flew overhead, trailing blue, white and red smoke.

France's national football team players parade down Champs-Elysee avenue in Paris.

The two directors of "Les Bleus", Emmanuel Le Ber and Théo Schuster, lived with the French football team for more than two months, following the players, coaches, and staff as they prepared at France's national football center, Clairefontaine.

"We had to see them - and also the cup".

Diverse French team brings home World Cup championship
Thousands gathered along the Champs Elysees in the French capital Paris as the victory played out in Moscow. We feel so proud, and we just want one thing: to go and celebrate this with the people of France '.

The French team arrived to red carpet treatment earlier on Monday afternoon, with goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris holding the trophy aloft as the team descended to meet Sports Minister Laura Flessel.

Sports Minister Laura Flessel told Europe-1 radio that the World Cup victory allows France's youth - like those in the poor suburbs where numerous players grew up - "to dare to believe in their dreams".

A total of 508 people were taken into police custody and 845 cars were torched on Bastille Day, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said, adding that 29 police officers had been injured while on duty on Friday and Saturday night.

Several Paris Metro stations were temporarily adjusting their names to honor the team and its members, the transport authority tweeted.

Penalty shoot-out victories over Denmark and Russian Federation followed in the last 16 and quarter-finals, respectively, before a 2-1 win against England in extra-time saw them reach their first ever World Cup final.

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US and North Korean officials were supposed to meet at the DMZ for negotiations Thursday, but the North Koreans never showed. But a US military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over.

The 49-year-old is just the third man - after Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer - to win the competition as a player and coach.

It was the players, though, who captured the French imagination.

"There are two things that matter - one is that these 23 players are now together for life, whatever happens, and also that from now on they will not be the same again, because they are world champions", a champagne-soaked Deschamps said Sunday.

Almost 3,000 guests were received in the Elysee gardens, including around 1,000 youths from local football clubs such as Bondy, the gritty Paris suburb whose towering housing blocks produced rising star forward Kylian Mbappe.

"We've had lots of problems in France these past years", he said at Sunday's festivities, recalling deadly terror attacks. "I don't regret not going on vacation this summer".

Child survives dad's drunk crash, killed by another car
Mike Shaw says the girl had sent text messages seeking help for herself and her dad before she was struck. Thomas thought her father was dead, got out of the vehicle with her backpack and climbed over a fence.

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