Supporter of Croatia national soccer team members wait to welcome the team on their arrival in Zagreb, Croatia, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

In an outburst of national pride, Croatia on Monday threw out a red carpet and staged a heroes’ welcome for the country’s national team despite its loss to France in the World Cup final.

Tens of thousands of people wearing national red-and-white colours and waving Croatian flags poured into the streets in of the capital Zagreb to greet the players, many coming to the city from other parts of the country.

The joyful, singing crowd crammed the city’s central square or lined up along the route where the players passed in an open bus, greeting the fans along the way and signing autographs from the bus.

Croatian air force jets escorted the plane carrying the team from Russia as it entered the country’s air space and flew over the capital Zagreb.

“Champions! Champions!” roared the crowds as the players came out of the plane to a red carpet placed on the tarmac at the Zagreb airport.

The small country of 4 million people has been gripped in euphoria since its team beat England to reach its first World Cup final, where Croatia lost 4-2 to France.

The success has been the described as the biggest in Croatia’s sporting history, boosting national pride and sense of unity in the country that fought a war to become independent from the former Yugoslavia in 1990s’.

Croatia’s state railway company has halved ticket prices so fans could travel to Zagreb, while city authorities in the capital said public transportation would be free on Monday.

State TV urged citizens to come out and enjoy “the historic moment” of the players’ return, while other media have described the players as “our heroes.”

Related: France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Related: Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Jovana Gec, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nuslhiixwta – A Place of Treasures – celebrates new name

After months of thought and deliberation, Healthy Beginnings now has a new name.

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry

“These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Most Read