Paris (AFP) – From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Vieux Port in Marseille, French supporters erupted in joy after the national side beat Germany to reach the Euro 2016 final.
Horns blared out of car windows on the Champs Elysees avenue in the capital in scenes reminiscent of when France won the World Cup in 1998.
After several years seeing the team beaten and shamed in international competition, the French nation is getting behind Les Bleus again.
France won 2-0 thanks to two goals from Antoine Griezmann.
“It was a hell of a match, two goals. But it was a triumph with great atmosphere,” said Nagdi, one of 90,000 people who packed a fan zone under the Eiffel Tower watching the match on a giant screen.
The tower lit up in the blue, red and white national colours after the win.
“It was perfect. We won but Germany scared us,” said Leslie, a visitor from the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe.
In Marseille’s old port district, beer glasses were hurled in the air when the final whistle went. Many fans were drenched in beer.
French President Francois Hollande was one of a group of VIP visitors in the Marseille stadium watching the match alongside Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
“The hardest is still to come,” Hollande said as he left the stadium, referring to Sunday’s final against Portugal in Paris.
The contrast in the mood could not have been greater in Berlin.
Tens of thousands of German supporters watching the match on a giant screen at the Brandenburg Gate fell silent and some fans were in tears as first one and then a second French goal went in.
“Goodbye the dream of the title,” Bild newspaper said on its website.
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