France's World Cup stars set for heroes' return

RATP renames Paris Metro stations in honour of Moscow winners, who will take part in an open-top bus parade along Champs-Elysées on Monday afternoon

Thousands of football fans are expected to line the streets of Paris's Champs-Elysées on Monday afternoon to welcome home the World Cup-winning French football team.

An open-top bus parade is scheduled to take place between 5.30pm and 6.30pm from the Arc de Triomphe to the Champs-Elysées roundabout, before the players and coaches will be received by President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace.

It will be the second time the President has congratulated the players. He was in Russia for the final.

And joined Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović at the presentation ceremony in a cloudburst after the match.

After celebrating in Moscow overnight, Didier Deschamps' side are due to land at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle at 3.55pm, less than 24 hours after they beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow to lift their second World title in 20 years.

Meanwhile, sore-headed commuters in Paris on Monday have had a few new Metro station names to get to grips with, as public transport operator RATP joined the World Cup celebrations.

The station Avron (line 2) will be temporarily known as "Nous Avron Gagné", Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (line 2) becomes "On a 2 Étoiles", Victor Hugo (line 2) is "Victor Hugo Lloris", Bercy (lines 6 and 14) will be called "Bercy les Bleus", Notre-Dame des Champs (line 12) will be "Notre Didier Deschamps", and Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau (line 13) is "Deschamps Elysées - Clémenceau".

More than 19million people tuned in to French broadcaster TF1 to see the final, with the audience peaking at about 22.3million - the highest audience for a single programme on French TV so far in 2018. 

Sunday night's celebrations were, however, marred by violence and tragedy. A total 130 people were taken into custody in the Paris region alone, after an outbreak of looting on the Champs-Elysées, while there were outbreaks of violence in Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg and Rouen.

A 50-year-old man died after diving into a canal in Annecy during victory celebrations, while another died after driving his car into a tree in the Oise.

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