France coach Didier Deschamps made one late change to the side that beat England 2-1 in a tense World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, but the reigning champions got the job done with their collective strength.
The weak point of the blue team was the lack of solutions on the bench, and Deschamps pushed only Kingsley Coman instead of Osman Dembele in the 79th minute, after Olivier Giroud scored the winning goal at Al Bayt Stadium.
Deschamps, who won the World Cup as captain of France in 1998 and coach in 2018, focused on the wonderful atmosphere in the camp and the role of this in maintaining the team’s stability despite the dominance of the “wonderful England team”. And he continued: We have great capabilities, we also have tremendous mental strength and experience, and we have young players as well, and this collective strength drives the whole group.
He continued: This is what makes the difference in such important matches.
France seeks to be the first to retain the World Cup title after Brazil in 1962, but Deschamps refused to think beyond the Morocco match, the surprise of the championship and the first African and Arab team to reach the semi-finals.
He said: We are in the semi-finals, we did not take pictures of ourselves holding the cup.
And he continued: There are other steps starting from Wednesday’s match, so let’s rejoice in what we achieved tonight, and if that wasn’t enough, at least we broke the title holder’s complex.
The champions of the last four European editions did not skip the group stage in the next edition.
Morocco reached the semi-finals after a 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday, proving that their success was not a stroke of luck, conceding just one goal in the tournament.
Deschamps warned, saying: This team achieved successes against Belgium, Croatia, Spain and Portugal. I can only say well done to the players, the coach (Walid Regragui) and the staff.
“Their presence (in the semi-finals) is not a surprise at all. They did not steal the results. All appreciation is always for the team that won and qualified.”