Irish Fans screenshot Storyful

Despite their elimination in the Euro 2016 football championship, fans of the Irish National Team have won the hearts of people worldwide with their charm and sportsmanship during the June tournament in France.

Their winning attitude inspired a Frenchman to write an open letter praising the Irish people ahead of last Sunday’s match with France.

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“If my country wins or yours, I’ll be happy. And I will celebrate,” Oliver Sauton wrote. “You do honor to your country, your people, to your ancestors. Even drunk, you’re a gentleman.”

At the quadrennial soccer tournament known for rowdy fans, drunken brawls, and hooliganism, which caused curfews this year in some French cities, the Irish fans stood out as a breath of fresh air.

They have “owned the Internet” during their time at Euro 2016, caught in videos serenading women, singing lullabies to babies, dancing with French police officers, and even repairing a car dented in one of their celebrations — and demanding the owner take their money to get it properly restored.

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Saunton wrote in his open letter. “Since you’re here, Irish friend, we speak only of generosity, brotherhood and good atmosphere that you put in the stands. In the stands and on the streets too!”

“Even with your belly sticking over your shirt, you have class. Even defeated, you’re in good spirits  If my blood is French, my heart–thanks to you and your comrades– is increasingly Irish. I think I am telling the truth when I say the whole France that has fallen under your charm.  You can be proud. Because the Euro is not over and yet you’ve already won.”

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Ireland lost to France 2-1 in their Sunday match, but fans won’t go home empty-handed.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has since announced she’ll award the Medal of the City of Paris — the “Grand Vermeil,” the City of Light’s most prestigious honor — to a representative of Ireland’s fans for being “exemplary in their sportsmanship.”

(WATCH the video below and READ Oliver Sauton’s full letter at Lovin IE) — Photo: Storyful

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