Congratulations France, an important win in so many ways

There are so many reasons to congratulate this French world cup winning team. Not since the 1970  finals has a side won the highest footballing honour - the World cup final- with such panache and style. And that was arguably the greatest team winning team ever - Brazil - which included the great Pele. The comparisons with that winning team don’t stop there.

The player of the tournament, Kylian Mbappe has drew many comparisons with the great man. Mbappe, like Pele burst on to the world cup winning stage as a teenager, both scoring spectacular goals and winning global applause. Their pace and sheer guile epitomise the very best of the beautiful game.

The other important comparison of course to that famous 1970 Brazil team is the teeming diversity of the French winners. Not unlike the Brazilian side of the 1970’s that enthralled and dazzled a football mad world, the French national team fielded a side with the majority players from African descent.

At a time when Europe and America are turning in on themselves over a  Far Right led debate on immigration, this youthful display of artistry, teamwork, and passion give another glimpse of what a nation’s potential could be if equality and opportunity can translate beyond the football stadium.

Congratulations France. You have no idea how much this win will have meant to many tens of millions of people  way beyond your French shores, and the footballing world.

Simon Woolley