Didier Deschamps, the leader of men


« Congratulations to my players, » said the coach at the microphone of TF1 just after the victory against Denmark, this Saturday, after the victory of his team (2-1). If football is above all a collective sport, it would however be nothing without a single man, the one capable of managing a team. In France, we have quite a few specimens of the genre. First player, then coach and finally coach.

The native of Bayonne is neither a scorer nor gifted. He also does not have the physique of an athlete (1.74m for 71kg). But that’s what you call a hard worker. Always working harder, refining the details was his credo when he was a young player. And even after. It must be said that it paid off. French player of the year in 1996, Didier Deschamps also won two Champions Leagues with Olympique de Marseille (1993) and Juventus de Turin (1996), two French championship titles with OM (1990 and 1992 ), three Italian championship titles with Juventus (1995, 1997, 1998), a World Cup (1998) and a European championship (2000). Excuse a bit.

From the lawn to the bench

The one who first tried rugby at Olympic Biarritz before diving into the world of football could not imagine leaving it once his playing career was over. He then converted to a coach coaching big clubs such as Monaco, Juventus or Marseille. The Basque is a true leader of men: “He was always aware of everything that was happening in a group, explains Arnaud Ramsay, co-author of the book Champions of the world 1998, secrets and power. He wants to know the motivations or the problems of each other and sees everything very quickly. »

But the logical continuation for the former captain of the Blues was still the selection. This selection for which he has wet the shirt so many times, this selection he loves and respects more than anything. Already, when he was a player, Deschamps liked to give voice to replace or organize the game. He then provided a form of relay for the coach’s messages. Today, he is the coach. A paternal coach, imbued with the culture of winning and who attaches little importance to remarks. Critics, he brushes them aside. And this, always with a dose of humour, self-mockery and irony.

So would he hold the key, Deschamps? The one that opens the doors to success. New elements of response next week in the round of 16.

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