World Cup winners France were poised for a rapturous reception after touching down in Paris on Monday.
Les Bleus beat Croatia 4-2 in Sunday’s World Cup final in Moscow to win the tournament for a second time, 20 years on from their France 1998 triumph.
The aeroplane carrying the squad arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport before 1600BST and two water cannons were sprayed over the fuselage to create a victory arc.
French media images showed thousands of people in the blue, white and red of the tricolore gathering on the Champs-Elysees in anticipation of Didier Deschamps’ World Cup winners parading into central Paris.
Lemonde.fr, the website of the newspaper of the same name, said Les Bleus would travel down the boulevard before a reception at the Elysee Palace, the the official residence of President Emmanuel Macron.
It was accompanied by a message saying “We go back to France with the Cup and one more star” – referring to the stars worn by national teams to show the number of World Cups they have won.
Late on Sunday night the same account showed members of the France squad dancing on a table and being filmed while serenading N’Golo Kante, the Chelsea midfielder who is quietly spoken but a hugely influential player.
President Macron was at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday for the final and warmly embraced the winning players and head coach Deschamps.
Deschamps lifted the trophy as France captain in Paris 20 years ago and now is the third person, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, to win the tournament as a player and coach.
France striker Antoine Griezmann, whose fourth goal of Russia 2018 came in the final, said on fifa.com: “We’re so happy. We feel so proud, and we just want one thing: to go and celebrate this with the people of France.”
Pele joked he may be forced to return to playing after France’s 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe joined him as only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final.
The Brazilian, now aged 77, wrote on Twitter: “If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again.”
Mbappe replied: “The king will always remain king.”