A report from News Americas Now.
A Caribbean roots player in the French world cup team has summed up their win of the 2018 finals in one word – “#STRENGTH.”
“WE DID THIS!!! @French team! Together and forever,” Presnel Kimpembe, 22, who was born in Beaumont-sur-Oise, France to a Haitian mother and a Congolese father, tweeted hours after the win Sunday.
Kimpembe, who also plays as a defender for Paris Saint-Germain and France national team, also retweeted two photos – one of the team and another of him holding the World Cup trophy under the caption: “CHAMPIONS DU MONDE,” which translates of course to World Cup Champions.
Guadeloupe-born teammate, Thomas Lemar, did not play in Sunday’s game but is nevertheless a winner as well.
He took to Instagram to post under a photo of him holding the world Cup: “Dream that becomes reality I am the happiest of the world thanks to all Fr.” Lemar also called his teammates “family” under a group photo posted on the social media site while adding another note under an official shot of the winning World Cup team that stated: “…a big thought for Guadeloupe 🇬🇵👊🏽”
Meanwhile, teammate Raphaël Xavier Varane, whose roots runs to Martinique through his dad, posted two photos of him and other teammates under the caption: #men of trebleus” and of him kissing the trophy under the caption: “CHAMPIONS DU MONDE.”
French Caribbean fans on Twitter also celebrated Varane as well as Guadeloupe-born Thomas Lemar. Even though Lemar did not play in the finals, fans from the Caribbean islands tweeted their support under the post: “We are # ChampionsDuMonde2018 Thanks to the @ equipedefrance with the # Guadeloupe #ThomasLemar and the #martiniquais @raphaelvarane.”
Many people of African heritage across the Diaspora globally supported Team France because of the strong black lineage of most of the team as 15 of the 23 members have African roots.
France won its second World Cup championship, defeating a tough Croatia team 4-2 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday as Les Bleus were powered to victory with goals contributed by two players of African descent: Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé. Mbappé, at 19, matched Brazilian great Pele as the youngest player to score a goal in a World Cup final. His father is Cameroonian.
The other African born and African roots players on Les Bleus are Samuel Umtiti, who was born in Cameroon, Steve Mandanda comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Steven Nzonzi‘s father is Congolese, N’Golo Kante‘s parents are from Mali, Blaise Matuidi‘s parents are from Angola and Congo, and Corentin Tolisso‘s father is from Togo.
Africans have played on the French national team since the 1930s, according to the New York Times. Senegal’s Raoul Diagne played in the 1938 World Cup.
Meanwhile, the final game was marred by the disruption of the game by four people running onto the field at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow as Russian President Putin sat in the press box.
In a statement posted to their Twitter account, Pussy Riot wrote that the disruption was meant to protest political prisoners, illegal arrests during protests, and more. The performance was referred to as “policeman enters the game.”