President of France Emmanuel Macron enters the team’s dressing room. It is only a few minutes after Les Bleus beat Belgium and reached their third World Cup final.
The place is not going totally bonkers yet. But it won’t be long. First, Macron congratulates the players: “Well done. You have made your country proud and the French people happy. The country is going mad with happiness thanks to you,” he says.
It was his first game in Russia with the team and he will be back on Sunday for the final. One by one, he shakes the players’ hands with a little word for each of them.
Benjamin Mendy, the former Marseille player and official joker of the squad, has to do something to recognise Macron, himself a big OM supporter.
“And for the president …” he starts the song and in a dressing room full of laughter, everyone else follows.nfl replica jerseys cheap
“And for the president …”
A water fight starts, everyone jumps everywhere and shouts: “We are in the final, we are, we are, we are in the final!”
A few minutes before, coach Didier Deschamps also compliments his men: “I am proud of you,” he says. “You played the perfect game. Well done! But it is not over. In a World Cup, we only remember the winners.”
The music is blaring, they sing, they dance. Mendy, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba are leading the way, obviously. Lucas Hernandez and Presnel Kimpembe are missing it all because they are at the anti-doping test.
The younger players still can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the achievement. “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it,” whispers Benjamin Pavard, still only 22 with a mere 11 caps and a final to play in his first-ever World Cup.
Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are quite incredulous. “It is the best day of my life,” says Mbappe, 19, who doesn’t have his driving licence but will play a World Cup final on Sunday.
The more experienced ones, those who went through the huge disappointment of the 2016 European Championship and the heartbreaking loss in the final against Portugal, have crucial words.
“This is nothing. We have not won anything. It is not over,” shouts Matuidi in the tunnel on his way back towards the dressing room.
“We can’t do like in 2016. There is one more game to go, we stay calm, win it and then we enjoy,” says Pogba.wholesale nfl jerseys cheap
The players are checking their phones and discover the incredible scenes back home, the Champs Elysees rammed with fans, the millions of people celebrating all around the country in the streets. They can’t believe what they are seeing.