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When Deschamps retired from playing in 2001, a move into management seemed like the most sensible move for someone who had been praised for his leadership skills throughout his career.

Before becoming coach of the French national team in 2012, he was in charge of Monaco, Juventus and Marseille.

His arrival came two years after the disastrous 2010 World Cup for Les Bleus under Raymond Domenech.

The French squad was fragmented, with some players refusing to train in protest against the French Football Federation’s decision to send striker Nicolas Anelka home after a row with Domenech.

When Deschamps took over the helm, he placed particular emphasis on unity and soon formed a cohesive team that once again represented a force at major tournaments.

At the 2014 World Cup they reached the quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Germany. At the 2016 Euro they made it to the final, which they hosted, but lost 1-0 to Portugal.

However, the upward trend continued when France triumphed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

A decisive moment for this success was the 4-3 victory against Argentina in an exciting round of 16 match.

Afterwards, some players went out and made noise when they returned. They woke up the sleeping people when defender Adil Rami sprayed a fire extinguisher in the hotel corridor.

Philippe Tournon, France’s press officer at the time, said in the BBC documentary “How To Win The World Cup” that Deschamps’ reaction underlined his skills in human resources management.

“My room was next to Didier’s and I thought he was going to tear them apart,” he said.

“Didier had a word to say and with his sixth sense about his relationship with the players and the unity of the group, he told me: ‘If I touch them, it could destroy something we have been working on for five or six weeks.'”

Of course, Deschamps is not flawless either and after the national team was eliminated in the round of 16 of the 2020 European Championship against Switzerland, he was criticized for his wrong tactics and team line-up.

He answered the critics and doubters by leading France to their second consecutive World Cup final two years later in Qatar, where they lost to Argentina on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

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