What a game! Despite the distance and the time difference, the Francophones and Francophiles in the United States mobilized en masse to support the national team. Here’s a selection of photos taken by our teams and readers across the country, in bars with several hundred excited people and in familial lounges.
Photos by: Benjamin Meteyer, Frédéric Neema, the French from San Antonio, Clément Mercet, Hélène Labriet, Laetitia Brock, Greg Durieu, Elizabeth Gazay, Sandra Cazenave, Loic Legland, Emmanuel Schnetzler, Anne-Claire Klehe, Roxane Mitchell, Patrice Rombaut, Sandra Muller. Text by: Hélène Labriet (FM SF), Sandra Cazenave (FM LA), Grégory Durieu (FM Miami), Laure Foulquier and Alexis Buisson (FM NY)
Once again, we made the call for fans to come to the 5th&Mad food hall, and once again, you turned up (and we mean it, you turned up). Les Bleus won the World Cup in front of a white hot crowd of hundreds in this Midtown establishment.
Thousands of fans Les Bleus fans roared on East 60th Street in Manhattan, where the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) had installed a giant screen at the edge of their Bastille Day fair. Despite some technical problems, the audience was there. “We fought to the end. We deserve this victory,” said Theodore Brazeille.
In Miami, there were several hundred people gathered under the different tents of the Wynwood Marketplace watching about ten giant screens. Mostly French people filled the crowd, but there were a lot of Americans that came to support Les Bleus. “France, World Champion, it’s incredible, I can’t believe it. Thank you Les Bleus,” exclaims Mathilde, 25, who came to cheer on Les Bleus with several of her friends. “It’s a great moment for me, it’s my first World Cup, because I was only 5 years old in 1998, and I was so excited from the beginning to the end of the competition. Bravo les Bleus, I’m really proud to be French.”
Guillaume, who has been living in Miami for the past few months, is thrilled by “our second star,” referring to this being the French team’s second World Cup title. “The legend of Les Bleus will continue and we’ll get a third one in four years Qatar, I’m sure of it.”
“The only French on the island of Whibdey,” just north of Seattle: that’s how this family of readers described themselves. But that didn’t stop him from waving their colors. Thanks for the pictures!
At the Civic Center, the city had installed a large screen to broadcast the game. At the start, in the early morning mist of San Francisco, there were about 2,500 people, the fans fairly well distributed between the two camps vying for the title. By half-time, that number had doubled and the crowd was much more in favor of Les Bleus.
Exultation at the final whistle, the supporters on both sides congratulated each other on this beautiful coming together. Cars made victory laps around the town square and in the adjacent streets, tricolored flags waved in the wind and horns honked in the air.
At the Golden Gate Tap Room, the French Team’s supporters in San Francisco came in hoards: all the way until the end of the match, the line lengthened to enter the bar, which officially could accommodate 575 people. After the victory, more than 2,000 people blocked traffic on Powell Street for more than an hour and a half.
At Café Bastille, 400-600 people gathered in the main room and on the terrace. With so many people fitted into such a small space, the atmosphere was electric.
Even though the game was early, Los Angeles fans were not reluctant to set their alarm clocks for 6am. They were 450 people (including model Camille Rowe and Fabrice Sopoglian, the “godfather” of French reality TV show “The Angels”) gathered for the final at Liaison, in Hollywood, an event organized by France Fan Club.
At the final whistle, jubilant fans erupted, the supporters starting up a round of “I Will Survive,” one of the anthems of Les Bleus.
Patrick Kigongo, an American who has lived in France, is delighted that “the curse has been broken.” Lucile and Laurène, two French from Normandy on holiday in Los Angeles, experienced the semi-final and final away from home. “We were a little disappointed, but the atmosphere was incredible [at Liaison], even at 8 in the morning.” For them, this étoile (title) is more symbolic: “In 1998, we were only 10 years old, it’s not the same experience.”
Surrounded by his friends, Guillaume, in his 30s, is elated after the whistle. “Being in Los Angeles is really great because there is a real melting pot and communities from all countries. It’s cool to see their reactions, it offers a different view of our country.”
Ambroise’s eyes are wet with tears and he won’t speak until the Bleus raise the Cup. The 26-year-old French engineer followed the final with his family. “Living it in America is even more incredible. I’m here temporarily, so it will be part of the memories I made in the United States,” said the football fan, “I cried in 2006, now I plan to enjoy the win and drink all day.