France’s victory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup marks not only a historical winning but also a re-emergence of the country’s enthusiasm and unity, elements long lost in spirit amid economic troubles.
For many years now, surveys indicated that the country has the most pessimistic citizens in the world, notwithstanding the fact that many people beyond France want to live in the grandeur of its cities.
This status is owed to France’s lackluster economic performance and social security threats that have been haunting the country for years. France is being hit by high unemployment rates, ballooning public debt and successive terror attacks at home.
When France won the Mondiale in 1998, people had high hopes for the multi-colored country’s re-emergence. That’s no longer the case now despite France winning the biggest accolade in football. Pundits are no longer quick to say that France is re-emerging
However, finding victory in football may have helped the country. The streets of France were filled with rowdy civilian’s celebrating the new-found glory through the World Cup. Could this be the country’s path in regaining its long-lost vivacity?
Bringing home the trophy
They may not be the most elegant World Cup champions, but the 2018 French football team will forever be remembered as “a team of exceptional talent and flawless executive and ruthless efficiency.” It’s a group where each individual knows exactly what his role is and executes it perfectly.
France won the coveted title over Croatia with a score of 4-2, which also eked out a thrilling run over the past five weeks of the event. This marks the second victory for the former as its first victory was in 1998.
Gritty young Frenchmen — armed with skills and practice, just like other teams — kept playing in a methodical passion over the past six games going to the World Cup finals.
Each player, known for his respective brilliance in the field, willingly submit to a collective goal of winning the title.
The ethnic diversity of the players also sparked a broader dialogue on what makes one a French. The team, dominated by non-white members, welcomed a new identity for the country.
Midfielder Paul Pogba said, “France today is a France full of colours … We all feel French, we’re all happy to wear this jersey.” Pogba is a France-born citizen, and his parents are of Guinean descent.
Impact on France’s politics
A fervor football fan himself, President Emmanuel Macron may also find a reason to celebrate for his political career following this victory. The possibility of seeing a landslide win to remain in office in the next elections may not be far-fetched. After all, former president Jacques Chirac became more popular in 1998 when France emerged victorious in that year’s World Cup.
The World Cup win could be President Emmanuel Macron’s new crowning glory and could draw in more voters to him, as “football is the sport where societal differences are blurred,” says Ifop’s Frédéric Dabi.
There is also the possibility of the French economy receiving a boost following the World Cup victory. According to Bruno Le Maire, the country’s Economy Minister, its GDP could increase with the help of such an event. It would also strengthen Macron’s statement to the foreign investors, where he stated that “France is back.”
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