France coach Didier Deschamps could become only the third player in history to win the World Cup trophy as both player and the manager.
France booked their spot in the World Cup 2018 final in Russia on Tuesday after they defeated Belgium 1-0 in an intense semifinal clash. It took a header from Samuel Umtiti from a set piece to see the 2016 Euro Championship runners-up through to the final. The result has put coach Didier Deschamps on the cusp of a historic achievement as Les Bleus get ready to take on the winner of England and Croatia semifinal on Sunday.
Deschamps, who led France to the World Cup victory as captain in 1998, could become only the third player in history to lift the trophy as both a player and a coach. Only two individuals in history have achieved the same feat. The first one was Brazil’s Mario Zagallo, who won the trophy as a player in 1958 and 1962 and then lifted it as a manager in 1970. After Zagallo, it was Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, who won the trophy in 1974 as a player and then lifted it as a manager in the year 1990.
If France manage to win their second World Cup title in 20 years, Deschamps would be added as the third individual in the elite list. The former Juventus defensive midfielder was all praise for his side after the win over Belgium in the semifinal.
I’m very happy for my players, we showed character and the right mentality, it was very hard for us tonight. We worked hard defensively,” he said. “We had to take advantage a bit more in the counter attacks. but congratulations to my players and my staff. I feel very proud for my group,” he further added.
The final of the World Cup will be played at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.
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