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Thousands give heroes' welcome to French World Cup winners

media Air Force planes fly overhead at the team drives down the Champs Elysées Eric Feferberg/Pool via Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron told the national football team "Don't change!" while meeting them at the Elysée palace, while hundreds of thousands of people turned out to welcome them home after their World Cup win.

An estimated 300,000 waited for several hours to greet the World Cup winners on Paris's Champs Elysées.

Finally, they drove down the avenue in an open-up bus, dancing and passing the trophy from hand to hand.

"Don't change!" Macron told them when they met him and his wife, Brigitte. "This team is beautiful because you are united."

Paul Pogba leads the team in a victory rap while meeting President Emmanuel Macron Ludovic Marin/Pool via Reuters

Macron has promised to award them France's top award, the Légion d'honneur, after Sunday's four-two win against Croatia, France's second World Cup win in 20 years.

Nearly 3,000 guests joined the Macron's to greet the team at the Elysée, among them about 1,000 members of local football clubs, such as that of Bondy, the deprived area outside Paris where star forward Kylian Mbappé grew up.

Mbappé won recognition in Argentina following the win.

Organisers of Argentina's agricultural fair named a 920-kilo prize bull after him in a tradition of giving a famous name to the best bull of the year.

In Paris fans who lost patience at waiting to see the team at the posh Hôtel Crillon booed the police and threw bottles at them before being dispersed.

Nationwide some 292 people were arrested during the celebrations of the victory.

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