Kylian Mbappe looks MISERABLE as France’s heartbroken stars return home to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after coming agonisingly close to becoming the first country in 60 years to retain the World Cup trophy
Didier Deschamps and his side have returned to a heroes welcome in Paris after agonisingly missing out on the World Cup.
Twice trailing – initially by two goals to nil and then with only minutes remaining in extra-time – France took the game to penalties before finally being undone by some Emiliano Martinez brilliance and poor execution.
Despite the loss, thousands gathered at the capital’s Place de la Concorde to give the players a welcome worthy of them winning the prize as the squad were offered countless well wishes.
Kylian Mbappe looked particularly glum as he and his France team-mates returned home
The France players stepped off the plane to a heroes’ welcome at Charles de Gaulle airport
Deschamps and his players were pictured getting off the plane and onto the tarmac before they headed onto the function on Monday evening. Their families were also photographed emerging from the aircraft.
The France head coach, who was bidding to become the first manager ever in World Cup history to win back-to-back trophies, was photographed grinning as he arrived home.
Some of his players, including Kylian Mbappe, however, looked less than impressed as they arrived back in a significantly colder than Qatar France.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored a hat-trick – and his penalty in the shootout – though it was not enough to save his side
Mbappe, who became the first player since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to score a World Cup final hat-trick and has vowed that France ‘will return’, had a look of anguish etched across his face as he looked deep in his own thoughts. His efforts, as miraculous as they had been, were not enough to haul his side over the line.
Olivier Giroud, who alongside Ousmane Dembele was hauled off unceremoniously before half-time after Deschamps seemingly admitted defeat in his initial team selection, donned a Hawaiian-like neck adornment as he headed for the waiting team coach.
The AC Milan forward grinned as he shook hands with one of the airport’s staff members on the tarmac.
Olivier Giroud appeared slightly happier than his forward partner Mbappe as he greeted one of the airport’s staff members
The AC Milan forward even donned a Hawaiian-style neck adornment as he stepped onto the runway
Mbappe gave a slight grimace as he Ousmane Dembele and Hugo Lloris stepped onto the team bus
France players’ family members also stepped off the plane in front of the waiting French press
Mbappe was sat on the team bus as the players headed to a reception at Paris’ Place de la Concorde
Hugo Lloris, who failed to save a single Argentina penalty in the shootout, led the team towards their waiting transport to take them on alongside Deschamps.
Airport staff lined the runway as the players emerged down the steps of the plane. Despite many of the squad having been involved four years ago for their triumph in Russia, there appeared a significant number of glum faces as the reality of their defeat appeared to strike home.
Their arrival home coincides with criticism of France president Emmanuel Macron for his rather persistent approach to consoling the players after Sunday evening’s final.
Argentina’s players, meanwhile, remained in the air with the team expected to return to Buenos Aires at around 2am GMT.
Emmanuel Macron was criticised by some French political pundits for his words in the dressing room after the game
The French press was particularly critical of the centrist politician for the way he tried to console Mbappe while he was sprawled on the turf of the Lusail Stadium.
As reported by The Times, a political pundit named Matthieu Croissandeau accused the president of ‘going over the top’ in his attempts to be involved and of ‘hubris’.
‘You could say that Emmanuel Macron listened to his heart and that he is a real football fan, which is true. But it is difficult not to see a form of immoderation, what the Greeks called hubris or a type of all-powerfulness. In the Middle Ages, they called it the royal touch,’ he said.
Macron gave a speech to the players in the dressing room after the defeat, something BFM’s anchor Adeline François said was awkward owing to the players simply just wanting ‘him to go away’.
Others said that his consoling of the players – particularly Mbappe – was slightly cringeworthy