Maybe it was written in the stars that the moment France ensured their victory in the final of the 2018 Fifa World Cup against Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia Sunday, the heavens opened up.
The clinical Les Blues beat the valiant Croats 4-2 in the grand finale and no sooner the match ended did the rain came pouring down.
Maybe it was all part of the script.
As it were, France clinched their second World Cup title, after the 1998 edition at home, and the joy of the French players knew no limits.
It was a contrast really.
While the Croatian players trudged back to the team bus via the mixed zone with disappointment clearly showing in their faces, the Frenchmen were the total opposite.
The newly crowned world champion were celebrating wildly and singing relentlessly, with Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba at the heart of most of the celebrations.
Defenders Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane were in high spirits while centreback Adil Rami, often the joker in the France dressing room, was the first to appear at the mixed zone.
Young player of the tournament Kylian Mbappe, on the other hand, had much joy holding onto the golden trophy.
The celebrations were such that the players also intervened the post-match press conference of manager Didier Deschamps, who became only the third man in history to lift the World Cup as a player and manager.
During the presser, the French players had much fun spraying champagne and water, as the media curiously looked on.
“We are proud. We are world champion now. I am feeling really sad for my mistake,” said captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the mixed zone, alluding to his mistake which led to Croatia’s second goal.
“The team had to concede a goal. But now there are no frustrations. It has been a while since I last talked properly with my family. With that said, our lives will not stop after becoming world champion. We will play again. We will be champion for the next four years. It feels great to think that. This is the biggest achievement of my life,” the Tottenham Hotspur goalie added.
Striker Antoine Griezmann predicted a bright future for the Les Blues.
“I always said, keep the faith. As long as we had confidence, that’s all that matters. After we lost the Euro 2016 final (against Portugal), many broke down in frustration. I told everyone that the day of reckoning will return. The day has returned. We have won the World Cup. The main thing is coming out of the defeat (in the Euros). And Mbappe, Pogba and Lucas [Hernandez] are our national treasure. This team will do well in future as well,” said the Atletico Madrid forward.
Meanwhile, full-back Hernandez was so delighted that he predicted a sleepless night for him after being crowned champion.
“The medal that you’re seeing on my neck, I’ve been dreaming about this day since childhood. The World Cup is such, you can’t get the true feeling without touching it. This is like a dream for me. I won’t be able to sleep tonight. We have won the World Cup. I will now party with friends,” said a delighted Hernandez.
“Feeling desperate to go back to France. We played really well. Deschamps told us to control the midfield. We were able to do that. And that’s why we were successful,” he concluded.