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Vive la France! Macron's Joyful World Cup

For one shining moment, the French president could forget the pressures of his office, and just be a fan.

A World Cup victory can cement an athlete's or an entire team's place in soccer lore. It's also not bad PR for a nation's leader. When France soundly defeated Croatia in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, photos nicely captured French president Emmanuel Macron exhibiting the enthusiasm and joy that can overtake even a buttoned-down statesman gripped by World Cup fever.

HOT AND COLD China News Service/VCG via Getty Images HOT AND COLD From their seats in the VIP box at Luzhniki Stadium, French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović have somewhat different responses to the action on the pitch during the FIFA World Cup Final in Moscow. CROATIA RISING China News Service/VCG via Getty Images CROATIA RISING Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has her own chance to celebrate during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final against France. FIST PUMP Jean Catuffe/Getty Images FIST PUMP While his wife, Brigitte, exhibits classic Gallic cool in the face of a looming French victory, President Macron has a tougher time keeping still, fist-pumping his excitement after France's second goal against Croatia.

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SEALED WITH A KISS NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images SEALED WITH A KISS Emmanuel Macron plants a kiss on French coach Didier Deschamps. After the victory, Macron acknowledged the French team's victory with one of the great single-word tweets ever. "MERCI." RAIN? WHAT RAIN? Jean Catuffe/Getty Images RAIN? WHAT RAIN? A very, very happy Emmanuel Macron embraces the great French midfielder and Manchester United star Paul Pogba (#6), after the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. THE HUG SEEN ROUND THE WORLD KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images THE HUG SEEN ROUND THE WORLD In a moment neither man will forget, Macron hugs 19-year-old French phenom Kylian Mbappe, who scored France's fourth goal in the 65th minute of the final match, as good sport Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (right) looks on. IN THE MOMENT Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images IN THE MOMENT President Macron's poll numbers might be in the lukewarm low 40s, and colossal challenges face the European Union, generally, and France, specifically. But for one enduring moment in Moscow in the summer of 2018, Macron could bask in the singular experience of being the head of the nation that won the world's greatest sports spectacle. And bask he did.



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