NEW YORK — Jubilant fans of the French soccer team cheered in New York City streets after the team took down Croatia in the World Cup final Sunday.
French and Croatian natives gathered to root for their home teams in restaurants and bars across the city. In the end, France won 4 - 2. It would have been Croatia's first World Cup final win.
"France won! This is my family! This is my country!" Vinny Quinones said from Felix Restaurant in Soho.
The crowd spilled out into the street when France won. A massive tricolor flag was unfurled as the French soccer fans sang and cheered.
"We feel like an embassy, it's like a French territory," Sammy Nassar said.
Over in Astoria, Queens, Irish Bar Daly's Pub turned Croatian for the day. Fans, dressed in red and white, packed the bar hoping to see history.
"I am so proud of my country," Bavorka Nemaric said. "I am so proud of Croatia!"
Zdenko Grgas was thrilled to be in a bar with his fellow Croatians.
"I came all the way from Pennsylvania, 150 miles to be with these people. I grew up over here," he said.
Aside from the excitement of the soccer game, the fans, both Croatian and French, enjoyed the togetherness. It's a community feeling that they often lack so far away from home.
"[Soccer is] a way we all come together, as a country, as a culture," Jasmine Keuter said. "It really brings people from all over together at the same time and it's really special."
The last time France won the World Cup was 20 years ago.