It’s been only a while since the FIFA World Cup 2018 has been done and dusted, and with an unprecedented turn of on field heroics striving to make up for one of the most unpredictable soccer tournaments in recent times, the football fever had indeed taken the whole world in its grip. Courtesy Sunday’s epic France- Croatia finale, the summit clash was quite different from what had been witnessed in recent times.
It was surely the year of the underdogs, what with bigweights like Argentina, Portugal and Brazil exiting the tournament in unprecedented style even as nations with a lesser weighed down bag of expectations jumped into play to make up for a highly anticipated display of sporting spirits.
While Japan won hearts with their discipline and Croatia with their superb display of soccering skills, this time the soccer world’s showpiece event was as much the case of individual glory as national pride.
Perhaps, it is this exemplary spirit of the game and the manner in which the event was conducted that would grant this World Cup a special place in history in the times to come. But for now, there’s something else that is being brewed as a true display of affection for the game.
And that involves getting rechristened for many of the subway stations, besides other modes of emotion. In the lands of a fourth placed England and France- the winners.
Specifically, you would be beaming with joy and adulation the French have showered on their epoch making national team. In a particularly touching and ‘historic’ show of love, The Louvre decided to portray Monalisa in the national team’s colors!
Félicitations à l’@equipedefrance pour leur victoire à la #CoupeDuMonde2018 ! ?⚽ ?? pic.twitter.com/LVBVK6mJ3g
— Musée du Louvre (@MuseeLouvre) July 15, 2018
While that’s definitely the thing you would need to make your day, the country of love is not done yet! The hero of the triumph Didier Deschamps got references in two stations while another stop chose to celebrate author Victor Hugo, changed to Victor Hugo Lloris, in an obvious reference to France’s goalkeeper.
[#MercilesBleus] La #RATP célèbre l’@equipedefrance sur son réseau. On vous dévoile 6 nouvelles stations de métro en l’honneur des Bleus #ChampionsDuMonde ! ? ? Toutes les infos ➡ https://t.co/9TdZq7Uwmp #FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/lAGJhLuBm8
— Groupe RATP (@GroupeRATP) July 16, 2018
Then there were still others like Charles de Gaulle-Étoile renamed to ‘On a 2 Étoiles’ (referring to the number of World Cup-winning stars on the French team jerseys), Bercy to “Merci les Bleus” (Thank you, Blues) and Avron to “Nous Avron Gagné” (We won).
And though England could not feature among the top contenders, their march in the tournament was glorified as well. Southgate station saw the addition of Gareth to its name, celebrating the national manager. In London transport’s bid to thank the man for what they termed an incredible journey, the station will bear his name for 48 hours.
Next stop – Gareth Southgate! To celebrate the achievements of the @england men’s football team this summer, TfL & @VisaUK have temporarily renamed Southgate station on the @piccadillyline. Why not come down and post a #SouthgateSelfie pic.twitter.com/n8tR70qitd
— Transport for London ? (@TfL) July 16, 2018
In a related tone, Gareth also seems to be the ‘face’ behind boosting Marks and Spencer’s brand image with the manager’s signature style adaptation of a waistcoat striving to raise sales. That, prior to the nation’s semi final battle against eventual runner’s up Croatia.
This is not just a waistcoat – this is an M&S waistcoat #waistcoastwednesday pic.twitter.com/FAN9jRBcQo
— Amanda Compton (@AmandaCompITV) July 10, 2018
And while it has never been uncommon globally to shower affection on sporting heroes, it is the way and the thought that goes into such public display of affection that lends a warmth to all those personalities who strive for the ultimate national glory, and goads them to do even better for the sake of their country and those people who admire them so much!