France’s grieving stars return home to a hero’s welcome at Charles de Gaulle airport

Didier Deschamps and his team returned to a hero’s welcome in Paris after missing out on the World Cup finals.

Twice trailing behind – first by 2 goals to no and then with just minutes remaining in extra time – France took the match to penalties before eventually being undone by some Emiliano Martinez brilliance and poor execution.

Despite the loss, thousands gathered in the capital’s Place de la Concorde to give the players a well-deserved welcome to win the award as countless good wishes were offered to the team.

Kylian Mbappe looked particularly somber when he and his France team mates returned home

Kylian Mbappe looked particularly somber when he and his France team mates returned home

The captain and coach steered the players off the plane upon their arrival home in Paris

The captain and coach steered the players off the plane upon their arrival home in Paris

Deschamps and his players were pictured getting off the plane and onto the tarmac before heading to the function on Monday night. Their families were also photographed exiting the plane.

The French coach, who was trying to become the first coach in World Cup history to win back-to-back titles, was pictured grinning as he arrived home.

However, some of his players, including Kylian Mbappe, looked less than impressed returning in a place much cooler than Qatar France.

Hugo Lloris and Didier Deschamps both wore brave faces even though they missed out on bits of history.

Hugo Lloris and Didier Deschamps both wore brave faces even though they missed out on bits of history.

The PSG forward scored a hat-trick - and a penalty in the shootout - though it wasn't enough to save his side

The PSG forward scored a hat-trick – and a penalty in the shootout – though it wasn’t enough to save his side

Mbappe, who became the first player since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final and vow France would “come back”, had a look of melancholy on his face as he looked deep in his thoughts. His efforts, though miraculous, weren’t enough to drag his side over the line.

There were few references to Kolo Mwani, who squandered a golden opportunity in moribund extra time to surely win the World Cup.

Olivier Giroud, who was unceremoniously carried alongside Ousmane Dembele before half-time after Deschamps seemingly conceded defeat at his initial team selection, donned a Hawaiian-like neck ornament as he headed to the waiting coach.

The AC Milan forward smiled as he shook hands with an airport employee on the tarmac.

The French players got off the plane to greet the heroes at Charles de Gaulle Airport

The French players got off the plane to greet the heroes at Charles de Gaulle Airport

Olivier Giroud looked slightly happier than his attacking partner Mbappe as he greeted an airport staff member.

Olivier Giroud looked slightly happier than his attacking partner Mbappe as he greeted an airport staff member.

The AC Milan striker even donned a Hawaiian-style neck ornament when he took to the stand

The AC Milan striker even donned a Hawaiian-style neck ornament when he took to the stand

Mbappe faced a slight grimace as Ousmane Dembele and Hugo Lloris boarded the team bus

Mbappe faced a slight grimace as Ousmane Dembele and Hugo Lloris boarded the team bus

Family members of the France players also got off the plane in front of the waiting French press

Family members of the France players also got off the plane in front of the waiting French press

Mbappe sat on the team bus as the players headed to a reception at the Place de la Concorde in Paris

Mbappe sat on the team bus as the players headed to a reception at the Place de la Concorde in Paris

Hugo Lloris, who failed to save a single penalty for Argentina in the shootout, led the team towards the waiting transport to take them alongside Deschamps.

Airport staff lined the tarmac while the players exited the steps of the plane. Although many of the players shared their triumph four years ago in Russia, there were quite a few somber faces as the reality of their defeat seemed to be the final blow.

Their arrival home coincides with criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron over his persistent style of consoling the players after Sunday night’s final.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s players have remained up in the air, and the team is expected to return to Buenos Aires around 2am BST.

Some French political experts criticized Emmanuel Macron for his words in the dressing room after the match

Some French political experts criticized Emmanuel Macron for his words in the dressing room after the match

The French press in particular criticized the centrist politician for the way he tried to comfort Mbappe while he was on the pitch at Lusail Stadium.

As The Times reported, political expert Matteo Croisando accused the president of “over the top” in his attempts to engage and of “arrogance.”

You could say that Emmanuel Macron listened to his heart and that he is a true football fan, and it is true. But it’s hard not to see a form of indifference, what the Greeks called arrogance or a kind of omnipotence. In the Middle Ages, they called it the royal touch.

Macron gave a speech to the players in the dressing room after the defeat, something BFM broadcaster Adeline François said was embarrassing because the players simply wanted him to “go”.

Meanwhile, with Deschamps’ future up in the air as his contract expires, L’Equipe reports he would like to negotiate a contract to keep him in charge of the next World Cup should he stay.

Others said his consolation to the players - especially Mbappe - was a little heartbreaking

Others said his consolation to the players – especially Mbappe – was a little heartbreaking

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