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Soccer fans are glued to their screens in bars, parks and living rooms across Canada, watching Croatia take on France in the World Cup final.

It’s the first ever final for the Croatians, while France is there for the third time and went into the match as the betting favourite.

In Montreal, fans wrapped in French flags erupted into cheers and sang the country’s national anthem as they celebrated each of their teams’ goals outside bar l’Barouf.

A two-storey-tall French flag covered the front of the building in the Plateau-Mont Royal, which is home to many of the city’s approximately 57,000 French nationals.

Fans waved flags, honked horns and cheered their team with calls of “Allez les Bleus” as police tried to keep the elated crowd from spilling onto the street.

The bar was so packed that Montrealer Henri Gigandet had to settle for the occasional glimpse of the TV while following the cheers, jeers and groans of the crowd. Still, he said it was worth it.

“It’s the ambiance, the vivre de joie and everything,” he said.

Though he’s not a French citizen, he said the event meant something to him as a francophone, as he stood on a corner waving a red, white and blue flag meant to symbolize the unity of French speakers across Canada.

“It’s our roots,” he said.

Initially, the crowd was equally jubilant in Croatian Parish Park in Mississauga, Ont., with some setting off sparklers and red flares as their team scored its first goal.

But after Fance’s third goal, the red-and-white clad fans were less talkative, watching the game in near-silence. By the opposing team’s fourth goal, a select few started to slowly trickle out of the park.

“It’s all emotions,” said Grgo Maronivic.

“The players on the field are connected to all their fans,” he added. “Whether they win or lose we’re proud of them; they’re family.”

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