This Tuesday 4th June 2019, les Bleus received the Legion of Honor from the hands of President Emmanuel Macron.
Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday praised “the sense of the collective” and “the foolproof mental” of the French football team crowned world champions in 2018, giving the 23 players and staff the Legion of Honor.
“You have made a whole country proud because you won together (…) because you have married individual excellence with the irreproachable sense of the collective,” said the head of state in the village hall of the Elysee where the trophy of the World Cup enthroned.
EN DIRECT | Remise de décoration en l’honneur de l’équipe de France masculine de football, Championne du monde 2018. https://t.co/EGcTBNsfce
— Élysée (@Elysee) 4 June 2019
In a long 45-minute speech to many football officials and some young people, Emmanuel Macron returned to the “epic” that led to the “glory day” of July 15th, 2018 when les Bleus won in the final Croatia 4-2 in Moscow , recalling that before the competition, the press was “suspicious” and the public “sceptical”.
In the presence of Noël Le Graët, the President of the French Football Federation (FFF), or Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister of Sports, Emmanuel Macron paid a vibrant tribute to Didier Deschamps, who “entered the World Hall of Fame” football after being “the man of the great French victories of the last 30 years”.
“It’s an honour, a privilege, a moving moment that we share with our loved ones,” responded the coach, already decorated in 1998 and raised this time to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor.
The President of the Republic then greeted one by one the players, like Kylian Mbappé, “the revelation of this World (…) that the whole Earth envies us”.
He finally expressed his pride that les Bleus have sung the Marseillaise “spontaneously”, “with the guts,” in the locker room. “You made our hymn your hymn,” thus giving “the best lesson of civic education to the youth of France,” he said
Olivier Giroud felt “an immense pride”. “It reminded us of a lot of memories,” said the striker, while Antoine Griezmann highlighted an “exceptional” moment because the president “had the words for everyone and took his time for us”.
Before this reception, more sober than the one organized at the Elysee Palace directly after the World Cup, the Head of State hosted the Fifa President Gianni Infantino, who signed an agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) for support round-robin development projects in Africa, especially for girls.
After having lunch with the players of the France team before the Women’s World Cup they open Friday in Paris against South Korea, he will participate in the evening at the opening cocktail of the 69th Congress of Fifa at the Grand Palais.