Thousands welcome home Kylian Mbappe and the France World Cup squad - in pictures

Supporters gather in central Paris to greet football team after World Cup final defeat against Argentina

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Kylian Mbappe and the France football squad were greeted by thousands of fans after arriving back in Paris on Monday from the World Cup in Qatar.

France were beaten in a penalty shoot-out by Argentina on Sunday night in one of the all-time great World Cup finals and the team looked in a sombre mood after landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport from Doha.

Despite it being a drab and chilly December evening, though, several thousand had congregated at Paris' Place de la Concorde.

Fans let off fireworks, waved French tricolore flags and chanted "Allez Les Bleus" and the French national anthem as the team appeared on the balcony of the Hotel de Crillon.

Manager Didier Deschamps and team captain Hugo Lloris waved to the crowds from the balcony. They were later joined by the rest of the squad and Mbappe, who drew a huge roar from the crowd.

"Frankly, it's magnificent, it warms the heart, it's a great pleasure to see that we were able to make so many French people proud and happy," forward Marcus Thuram told TF1 TV.

"We wanted to see them [the fans] on our return from Doha because I think it's the least we can do to come and see them and thank them for their support," he added.

World Cup final gallery

Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris told TF1 that it was a chance to "greet them (the fans), to thank them for their support and, after yesterday's pain, to seek their consolation."

France lost on penalties on Sunday after the match ended 3-3 following extra time, but French commentators still heaped praise on the defeated side, while highlighting the crucial role of Argentinian captain Lionel Messi.

"Invited to the coronation of Lionel Messi, Les Bleus were heroic," said L'Equipe sports newspaper.

The match was dominated by Argentina for the first 80 minutes before a quickfire double by Mbappe ignited France. Mbappe went on to score a third goal, becoming only the second player in history to grab a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

You can see a gallery of the scenes in Paris in the gallery above. To view the next image, just swipe.

Updated: December 20, 2022, 4:31 AM