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Croatia didn’t win the 2018 World Cup. You wouldn’t know that by looking at the throngs of proud fans in Zagreb who waited to welcome their national team back home.

Thousands of supporters lined the streets of Zagreb and packed Ban Jelenic square to show their appreciation for the greatest team to ever don Croatia’s checkerboard red and white.

Fervent fans lit flares and chanted “Champions! Champions!” just one day after the team’s remarkable World Cup run ended with a 4-2 defeat to France in the final.

Sunday’s loss capped the greatest Cup run in the nation’s brief history, and it didn’t go unappreciated in the Croatian capital.

Croatian national football team players ride a bus as people gather for a heroes' welcome
Croatian national football team players ride a bus as people gather for a heroes’ welcome
Fans waved flags and banners as they turned the city streets into a screaming sea of red, white, and blue.

An estimated crowd of more than 200,000 — more than five percent of the nation’s total population — sang and chanted their way through the celebration, which saw the national team arrive from Moscow, then make its way to a series of double-decker buses to soak in the adulation of a fervent crowd.

If Croatia’s players were still feeling the sting of Sunday’s loss, they certainly made it hard to tell.

As the celebration arced into night, the Croatians in Zagreb showed no signs of slowing down.

Source: Christian D’Andrea|| SBNation

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