Despite defeat in the final from FIFA World Cup 2022do not review Didier Deschamps at the controls of the selection for France – Netherlands, on March 24 in qualifying for Euro 2024, would be a huge surprise, as the 1998 and 2018 world champion appreciates his function, without letting the slightest weariness filter through.
“The France team has always been the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in my professional life”, he underlined again on Saturday, on the eve of the Argentina-France final, finally lost on penalties (3-3 ap , 4-2 tabs). “Now it’s been 10 years. It’s really passion, the very, very high level. I’m very good, very happy to be in this position.”
See you at the “beginning of the year”
The 1998 world champion did not wish to say more about his intentions after the final, giving an appointment “at the start of the year”, after a meeting with Noël Le Graët, boss of the French Football Federation (FFF) who will invite him to his stronghold of Guingamp.
This meeting in Brittany has become a habit for the duo, after each tournament: the sporting and logistical results of the competition are shared, as are everyone’s desires for the future.
Until the Mondial-2022, Deschamps approached each competition with the assurance of still being in office for two more years. But after the early elimination in the round of 16 at the Euro in 2021, Le Graët let him know that would not be the case before traveling to Qatar. His contract, and that of his staff, therefore expires on December 31.
2024 or 2026?
But by reaching the “last four”, or the semi-finals, Deschamps has met the expectations set by Le Graët. He even did better, with this final, his third in five major tournaments. “He has the cards in his hands”, launched the leader Sunday with the newspaper Le Parisien. “I hope he will say yes” to the proposed extension.
In a position of strength, will Deschamps be satisfied with an extension until Euro 2024 in Germany, in eighteen months? According to the daily L’Equipe, he could ask for a longer contract, taking him to the 2026 World Cup. That is 14 years in office!
Such a long extension would be unprecedented under his mandate, started in 2012. Indeed, Le Graët had taken the habit of extending Deschamps after each qualifying campaign. For example, “DD” had signed until the 2022 World Cup in December 2019, once the Blues qualified for Euro 2020.
Even if the suspense hovers, the doubt is low, because Deschamps regularly insists on the pleasure he takes in occupying this position, less exhausting than a role of club coach, which had wrung out in Marseille between 2009 and 2012 .
The position of coach, with five meetings per season, allows him to spend a lot of time with his family, at home on the Côte d’Azur, even if he watches a lot of matches in many Championships and travels in person to some of between them.
He also enjoys the confidence of several executives he has raised (Raphaël Varane, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Kylian Mbappé, etc.) even if some, like Olivier Giroud and Hugo Lloris, are approaching end of career. “I owe him everything,” said Griezmann in particular during the competition.
The file will be followed closely by Zinedine Zidane, who has never hidden his interest in the position. But everything leads to believe that once again, “ZZ” will have to be erased for “DD”.