“We are in front of a blank page,” Deschamps told AFP

“We are in front of a blank page,” Deschamps told AFP

Monaco (AFP) – At the controls of the Blues for more than ten years, Didier Deschamps, 54, starts from a “blank page” at the Mondial-2022 despite the coronation of 2018. “What was done, I did not do it for me , for my glory,” said the coach in an interview with AFP.

Q: Once at the world summit, where do you find the motivation to go for even more?

A: “When you’re there, it’s so beautiful, so good. Being a competitor means not being satisfied with what has been done, but doing what it takes to continue winning. It’s very it’s hard to win, especially a World Cup, and it’s even harder to win again. Success tends to erase a lot of things. It’s not all good when you win: you have to know how you got there upstart, the basic ingredients that we put in. There is quality, talent, but alone, they are not enough. Without the mind, the state of mind and the determination, it is impossible to s impose at this level.”

Q: Do post-2018 chess…

A: “(He cuts) Failure, fiasco… These are words. There are nuances too. There was a premature elimination (in 8th at Euro-2021). Being able to bounce back is important. “High-level football is ruthless. Fortunately, moreover, that is what makes it rich. The DNA of this team was solidity. In the space of ten minutes, we lost it, for different reasons. As soon as you do less, you give the opportunity to the opponent to take advantage of it.”

Q: Does the world champion label weigh on players, even those who arrived after 2018?

A: “I don’t know, but it’s there. The difficulty is that you can’t go higher. You can only do as well. With a higher expectation. The status does not offer guarantee or security. We are in front of a blank page, with a new story to write, necessarily different.”

Q: For the first time, you are approaching a World Cup at the end of the contract. Does this change anything?

Coach Didier Deschamps at a press conference in Paris on November 9, 2022 FRANCK FIFE AFP

A: “Nothing. I never started a competition thinking about what would happen afterwards. My first life (as a player) gives me this serenity. I will do everything to make it go well. way, even when you have a contract that runs after the competition, if it doesn’t go well…”

“I’m wary of copy-paste”

Q: How do previous World Cups serve you in the lead up to this one?

A: “Repetition, accumulation, that’s what we call experience. This word annoyed me a little when I was young. I would not have the pretension to say today that I I know what I should do. But at least sometimes I know what I shouldn’t do, and that’s not bad. I’m nevertheless wary of copying and pasting. The same situation but with two different players, two different places or two different times does not necessarily result in the same response.”

Q: Do you have an example?

A: “For the preparation of the final of Euro-2016, we had chosen a slightly + emotional + option in relation to the family and the entourage (a video of the families of the players had been broadcast before the final, editor’s note) “It was something strong for us, but it certainly conditioned the players a little bit psychologically. In 2018, I made sure to do it differently.”

Q: Does this World Cup mark the end of a generation, like after Euro-2000?

A: “Why? Because Lama, Blanc and I had decided to stop? Some are not there without having decided. I decide for them. This was the case after 2016, after 2018. The competition brings me to decide.”

Q: And today, have you already decided on your future?

The coach of the French football team Didier Deschamps, during a press conference in Paris on November 9, 2022
The coach of the French football team Didier Deschamps, during a press conference in Paris on November 9, 2022 FRANCK FIFE AFP

A: “I have decided to do everything to bring the French team as high as possible to the World Cup. The rest does not fit in my mind. Everything is possible.”

Q: Do you stop thinking about it?

A: “It’s no use since I don’t have the answers.”

“I do not attribute anything to myself”

Q: Are you concerned about leaving a trace?

A: “No, but it’s easy to say now! What was done was done, but I didn’t do it for me, for my glory. I’m not here to make people laugh either, but to get the best results. I do not attribute anything to myself. This is not a personal search for my own success. Success, you experience it through the victory of the players.”

Q: However, do some come knowing that they will be substitutes?

A: “They know it more or less by themselves. But it can go very quickly. If I take the example of 2018, some started the first game and did not play the second. The team that played the second game is the one who went to the end. It can also change later, like in 1998 from the quarter-finals.”

Q: How to maintain the flame of those who have already won?

A: “They know the difficulty of winning. They are competitors, not jaded. When you have the happiness of winning, you have only one desire: to continue winning. There may be moments of relaxation but there are a lot of requirements. The state of mind is the basis.”

Q: Despite your longevity, you are heard little on non-sporting subjects. Why ?

A: “Because when you question me, it is not the French citizen who answers but the coach of the France team, with obligations inherent in my function. I can therefore have opinions and make it my duty to keep them to myself, because what I say does not engage only me. You may think that it is jargon when my intention is to be respectful with the institution with which I am engaged.”

Q: Like in Qatar for example?

A: “I repeat, everyone has and will have the freedom to express themselves. Including the players, who will say what they have to say if questioned. We just made sure that they were informed about the situation on the spot. To have an opinion, it is essential. I even believe that it would be wrong to think that they are disconnected from the problems of society. As far as I am concerned, I have already provided answers that the we wanted to hear. Or not. On Qatar, it seems to me to have been clear: to participate does not mean to endorse. We are the hosts of an organizing country. As was the case, we must not forget that , four years ago in Russia and eight in Brazil. This decision (to award the World Cup to Qatar, editor’s note) was not taken a few weeks or a few months ago. It was more than ten years ago. years. This does not prevent us from remaining vigilant and attentive at our level. I depend on a federation, which has taken the necessary steps, at its level, so that everything goes as well as possible. available on site. Believe me, we are not in our bubble, insensitive to other people’s problems.”

Interview carried out before the announcement on Wednesday of the list of Blues selected for the Mondial-2022 by Christophe BELLEUDI and Antoine MAIGNAN.