“In 2022, my phone is on silent”, warns Didier Deschamps, coach “fulfilled” and ready to pile up “ten more years” with the ‘France team despite a contract expiring after the World Cup – 2022, as he assured in an interview with several media including AFP, Thursday in Nice.
Q: What do you keep of the year 2021?
A: “We had three goals, we have achieved two which are important. The premature elimination of the Euro hurt, but we must also accept it. Everything was going very well until the 81 e minute (against Switzerland in the eighth). Behind, things go in all directions, everything is called into question, details that have no importance take disproportionate proportions . Being able to start again is not easy because it was a hard blow, but I was convinced deep down that there were still great things to do. For me, 2021 remains a positive year. ”
Q: What Did you think that the “ten minutes of distraction” of the Euro will not happen again in Qatar?
A: “Nothing, that’s the high level. Sometimes it can go wrong. When we do less, there are no more guarantees. When the result is not there and there is an elimination at the end, everything comes out in a negative way, to excess. We were athletic ric-rac. We had to face a terrible heat wave, which massacred us physically. It is this accumulation of things that makes us lose our lucidity. We have become fragile. ”
Q: Karim Benzema was given a suspended prison sentence. He appealed. What is your position on the case?
A: “It is crisp and clear. A court decision cannot be commented on. You have to accept it. From the moment he appealed, we will have to wait. I don’t have the justice program. I spoke with him. If he appeals, it is because he obviously finds it too hard, too severe, or even more. It is his right. Today, it is selectable, it is the position of the president of the Federation (French football). ”
Q: Has the French team page been definitively turned for Olivier Giroud, Steve Mandanda and Moussa Sissoko?
The Blues coach Didier Deschamps during a press point in Clairefontaine, November 8 2021 (AFP / Archives – FRANCK FIFE) R: ” We do not know. At one point, it stops. There is never the right timing but it is like that. Today, these three players are still selectable. This does not mean necessarily selected. Both did what they had to do. It has happened to others, too, in previous years. There isn’t a player who wants this to stop. But at some point, yes, it does. We don’t necessarily know when. ”
Q: President Noël Le Graët plans to discuss your future after the World Cup. Is there a chance that you will see yourself before?
A: “Ask him the question. It is not planned like that. Today, it is planned that we meet again afterwards and that we decide together, even if it is he who will have the last word. But I don’t have a problem with that. Truly. I will handle the players the same. ”
Q: Would a title in Qatar sound like the perfect time to go?
A:” I don’t not ask the question. I don’t project myself. If I am to have another life, that will be great too. But I don’t know which one. There is no age limit (laughs). When I started out as a trainer, I told my wife that I would have done the tour at 40 years old. And watch today. ”
Q: Have you thought about saying stop after the Euro?
A:” No. Never. Not even half a second. I took the time to breathe, to isolate myself completely. It was three, four days. As long as my determination and my desire are always at its peak, I am ready to take up the challenge. ”
Q: Have you been contacted by clubs so far?
A: “It could happen that I was asked, after the title of world champion for example, but I am not available. I don’t have to open the door. I am fulfilled. I don’t feel any wear and tear as a coach. If I could be ten years older than what I’m experiencing today, that would be ideal. Because that’s the very, very high level, that’s all I like. I know very well that it will stop one day, but in any case in 2022, my phone is on silent. ”
Q: Are you approaching this World Cup holding the title or as a nation in reconquest?
Didier Deschamps relishes the victory of the Blues against Kazakhstan at the Parc des Princes, on 12 November 2021 (AFP / Archives – FRANCK FIFE) R: “By taking of the title. The wait has always been very important around the Blues, but it is even more so since this title of world champion. The Euro is great, but there is nothing above a World Cup. We cannot go higher. Getting there is very hard, but maintaining it is even harder. ”
Q: So a successful World Cup is a World Cup won for France?
A: “”I already know what a failed World Cup is. It all depends on where you place the cursor, but yes, the ambition is this: to go all the way. Afterwards, when we say that, ambition becomes complacency and when we don’t say it, it’s jargon. This was the case for the last Euro. But we must have this ambition, even if there is no guarantee. ”
Comments collected during a round table with some media including AFP.