Monday 24 September 2018, 20:33


Didier Deschamps

Reaching the pinnacle of one career is quite something, but to start afresh and reach the very top in an entirely different profession is a truly remarkable feat. Didier Deschamps has increased an elite group of two (Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer) by one, to become the third man to win the FIFA World Cup™ as a player and then a coach.

Harnessing the despair of defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 final on home soil as a motivating factor, Deschamps sculpted a squad for Russia 2018 that blended a dogged determination in defence with a relentless attacking joie de vivre, embodied by the artistic midfield leadership of Paul Pogba, the ruthless pace of Kylian Mbappe and the fun-loving sharp point of the attack: Antoine Griezmann. France’s 4-2 victory in Moscow’s finale against Croatia – coming two decades after Deschamps lifted the fabled Trophy as Les Bleus captain on home soil – completed the journey for ‘the coach on the pitch’, to The Best Men’s Coach in the dugout.

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