French heroes get rousing welcome

PARIS: Tens of thousands of French people gave a heroes’ welcome to their team in Paris on Monday after the squad returned from Russia following their World Cup triumph. The team arrived back at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. Their Air France plane, with a tri-colour flying from the cockpit window, was saluted with a jet of water from a fire engine as it slowed to a halt with its door nearly, but not quite, lined up with awaiting red carpet. Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris, holding the trophy, was first out of the door to be greeted by Sports Minister Laura Flessel at the top of the steps. Coach Didier Deschamps followed him and the pair acknowledged cheers from gathered airport workers before the whole team descended for a group photo on a podium on the tarmac. But the young players didn’t stay still for long, chanting and jumping in delight.

Legion of Honour
The team will be awarded the Legion of Honour, a source in the Elysee Palace says. The country’s highest official distinction was previously awarded to the World Cup team of 1998, the only previous time France won the contest. President Emmanuel Macron is due to receive the team in the Elysee Palace later on Monday, but the source said no decision had yet been made about when the award ceremony would take place. — DPA