World Cup afterglow lifts up conflicted France

PARIS (AP) — World Cup, World Cup and more World Cup — that’s all France is talking about.

“Eternal Happiness” said Monday’s headline in sports daily L’Equipe, summing up the mood of many who can’t imagine the euphoria will ever fade. The victory glow brightened the Monday morning Paris commute.

France is readying to welcome home the national soccer team for a parade down the Champs-Elysees, where tens of thousands thronged after the team’s 4-2 victory over Croatia Sunday.

President Emmanuel Macron exulted on the field and in the locker room with the players, and is hoping their victory gives him a boost, too. The French, though, are more enamored of the players and of their coach, Didier Deschamps.

Sports Minister Laura Flessel said on Europe-1 radio that the victory allows France’s youth “to dare to believe in their dreams.”