France’s Ambassador to Thailand, Gilles Garachon, was on cloud nine when witnessing his country celebrate their second FIFA World Cup title, especially as he was among what was a strong local, supportive ambiance in Bangkok on Sunday night.
As the final whistle was blown with the score 4-2 in France’s favour against Croatia, the ambassador along with supporters – both French and Thai – who gathered at Central Plaza to watch the game were in jubilant mood, just like Les Bleus fans around the rest of the world.
“It was a very beautiful game for both sides. The French team are very talented,” Garachon said with joyful emotion.
The win marked France’s second World Cup victory, the first being on home soil two decades ago when current national coach Didier Deschamps was still a player.
Three of France’s goals were scored by Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, while the other was an own goal by Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.
“I admire the goals they made a lot. They were excellent, very precise and technically perfect,” added the French envoy, who picked talent and a bit of luck as the two keys behind the victory.
“In football you need to have two main ingredients, if I may say so. One is talent and the other one is luck. We had both. It’s been a great European World Cup, with France, Croatia and Belgium finishing as the top three,” added the ambassador, who has served in Bangkok since October 2015.
Garachon also paid compliments to the young guns of the French team, especially Mbappe, his favourite player.
The 19-year-old is the youngest player to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958.
“I love Mbappe as he is just 19 but he runs extremely fast. When he shoots, it’s marvellous. This young man is very talented,” he explained.
The ambassador was also impressed to have got a glimpse of the local support for France’s football team, with many Thais coming to join him on Sunday night at Groove@CentralWorld, where the art of French living “Bonjour France” fair took place.
“I chose to be in among the public on Sunday as I wanted to be surrounded not only by French football lovers, but also by Thai supporters and as many international football fans as possible.
“I know there’s strong support for France in Thailand, but to see it with my own eyes was really rewarding. I’m grateful for all the Thai support,” said Garachon, adding that he believed the World Cup triumph would mean there was more confidence in and a good image for his country.