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Les Bleus awarded Legion of Honour

The French football team raise the World Cup after beating Croatia, 4-2 at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, 15 July, 2018.
The French football team raise the World Cup after beating Croatia, 4-2 at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, 15 July, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

France's World Cup winning team have topped the new year's Légion d'honneur list for their triumph last summer in Russia, with a total of 402 people – half men, half women – receiving the award.

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The 23 players, including star strikers Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, each received the honour of Chevalier (knight) for their victory over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow to claim France's second world championship.

The team that won their first World Cup in 1998 also received the award.

Many police officers and firefighters were on the 2019 list.

Writer Michel Houellebecq, whose latest book "Sérotonin" is to be published this month, was among those recognised.

Houellebecq became a pin-up of the French far right for his 2015 book "Submission", which painted a vision of France under sharia law after electing a Muslim president in 2022.

Others included student Marin Sauvageon, who was badly beaten up in Lyon in 2016 after standing up to a gang that was harassing a kissing couple.

The historian and China specialist Marie-Claire Bergère and the Franco-German political scientist Alfred Grosser were raised to the top rank of Grand-Croix for their contribution to the promotion of France.

The poet and academic Rene de Obaldia, 100 years old, was promoted to commander.

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