Deschamps to remain France coach until 2026 World Cup
Paris, Jan 7, 2023 (AFP) - Didier Deschamps said on Saturday he will remain France coach until the 2026 World Cup after leading the team to the final of the last two editions.
Deschamps' contract expired after the World Cup in Qatar, where defending champions France lost to Argentina in a penalty shootout after a thrilling final on Dec. 18.
It had been reported that French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet only wanted to give Deschamps a two-year extension until the 2024 European Championship, but the 54-year-old coach had insisted on staying in charge until the next World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
"I am going to announce something which for me is an immense pleasure, and that is that the president has decided to extend (my contract) until 2026," Deschamps said at the FFF general assembly.
"I thank the president for his constant support and his continued confidence in me," Deschamps added. "It is essential for the France team to function well."
Former Marseille and Juventus midfielder Deschamps captained France on home soil when they won their first World Cup in 1998, and he became coach of the national team in 2012.
He guided France to the Euro 2016 final, where they lost to Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal, and two years later led Les Bleus to glory at the World Cup in Russia, where they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final.
In Qatar, France overcame the loss through injury of world player of the year Karim Benzema just before the tournament to reach the final.
In the final, they fought back from 2-0 down to Argentina to bring the scores to 3-3 at the end of extra time thanks to a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe. They lost the penalty shootout 4-2.
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