'Eternal happiness' as France celebrates World Cup victory

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A total of 292 people were taken into custody across France following countrywide celebrations for France's World Cup championship according to French daily Le Figaro citing the Interior Ministry.

The team is scheduled to arrive back in France at around 1430GMT, before a parade down the Champs Elysees and a formal victory reception with Mr Macron at the Elysee Palace.

They are expected to parade through Paris and then go to the Elysée Palace to meet President Emmanuel Macron.

Celebrations were spread across the nation, and among still-dazed French players themselves.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd L), French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and FIFA President Gianni Infantino (L) attend the award ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

They did not disappoint, passing the golden World Cup trophy from player to player as they jumped and danced on an open-air bus with "World Champions" emblazoned on its side.

In honor of the returning heroes, several of Paris' metro stops have been temporarily renamed.

"We are linked for life now with this Cup", defender Raphael Varane told BFM-TV on Monday before departing from Moscow.

The national team's 4-2 win over Croatia on Sunday gave France a new set of heroes, many of whom represented the changing face of a diverse, multicultural country with which not all French citizens have yet reckoned.

Deschamps, who was soaked in champagne by his overjoyed players at a chaotic press conference Sunday, said afterwards that the win was "just as big and just as beautiful" as his 1998 triumph.

The victory came at a time when many French were in need of good news, and the magic provided a sense that a grand coming together might at least paper over political, economic and social fissures for a while.

France has suffered years of tension and self-examination since a series of attacks by Islamist gunmen during 2015 that left more than 140 dead, including 89 killed in the Bataclan theatre in Paris. Here, we are all united.

Riot squads used tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to keep the crowds in order. Broken shop windows and signs of looting lined a section of the Champs-Elysees. Authorities detained 90 people for questioning in the Paris region and some 290 around France. That is a play on the French national saying, "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite".

The small country of 4 million people has been gripped in euphoria since its team beat England to reach its first World Cup final, where Croatia lost 4-2 to France.

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