Didier Deschamps Profile
|Born||Oct 15, 1968|
Didier Deschamps is an iconic French football manager and former player. He is one of only two men to have won the FIFA World Cup as both a captain and coach, after successes in 1998 and 2018.
Former France team-mate Eric Cantona nicknamed Deschamps "The Water Carrier" because as a defensive midfielder, his contribution to the team centred heavily around winning the ball from opponents and passing it on to his team-mates. The industrious Deschamps won two UEFA Champions League titles - one with Marseille and the other with Juventus.
As a coach, Deschamps managed to lead France out of a slump, sidelining some big-name players for what he believed to be the good of the team. The proof is in the pudding, many would say, as France are now a formidable force in world soccer again.
Didier Deschamps and France
Didier Deschamps received his first call-up for the France national team on 29 April 1989 from Michel Platini for a fixture against Yugoslavia. This was a dark period for Les Bleus, as they are affectionately known, and they failed to qualify for the 1990 or 1994 FIFA World Cup tournaments. France were also eliminated at the first round of Euro 1992.
Aime Jacquet took charge of the national team in 1993 and initially appointed Eric Cantona as his captain for the rebuilding process ahead of Euro 1996. However, Cantona picked up a year-long suspension in January 1995, with Deschamps taking over as captain ahead of the Euro 96 tournament.
Deschamps captained France to the semi-finals of Euro 96 - their best performance in a major tournament in a decade. They were, however, eliminated by the Czech Republic on penalties in a last four clash in Manchester.
Two years later, the French Golden Generation came of age, with Deschamps captaining them to the 1998 FIFA World Cup title on home soil. They beat defending champions Brazil 3-0 in the final, with Zinedine Zidane and Emmanuel Petit performing superbly throughout the course of the tournament.
Deschamps then led France to the Euro 2000 title with a golden goal from David Trezeguet seeing Les Bleus through to a 2-1 extra time win over Italy in the final at De Kuip.
Deschamps' international playing career ended in 2000 and France's national team went into gradual decline, which culminated in player revolt and a disastrous group stage exit from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Laurent Blanc subsequently took over from Raymond Domenech, but his reign only lasted two years. Deschamps took over off the back of a quarter-final exit from Euro 2012.
Immediately, Deschamps showed that he was unafraid to make controversial decisions, omitting Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy from his 2014 World Cup squad.
The snubbing of Nasri was criticised by Patrick Vieira, who said at ITV's World Cup launch via The Guardian: "We never heard nothing about him [Nasri] at City. I think in France sometimes they are not strong enough to deal with personalities. It's quite surprising because Deschamps has personality and experience.
"If you want to win the World Cup you need to select the best player."
France made the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, but were beaten 1-0 by Germany, who went on to win the tournament.
France hosted Euro 2016, but there was team selection controversy once again. Karim Benzema was left out of the squad in connection with an alleged blackmail attempt against midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.
France went all the way to the final of the tournament, but they were shocked 1-0 by Portugal in the final.
At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Deschamps led France one step further, with a team inspired by the youth of Kylian Mbappe mixed with the pedigree of Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante and Antoine Griezmann winning the tournament. France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final and Deschamps became the second person to win the World Cup as captain and coach, as well as the third to win it as a player and coach.
Deschamps was vindicated for controversial decisions, having been criticised for leaving Benzema out of the 2018 World Cup squad in similar fashion to how he had been slammed for omitting Nasri in 2014.
West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer had been the only previous man to win the World Cup as a player and coach and Mario Zagallo coached Brazil to the title in 1970, having won it as a player in 1958 and 1962.
France enetered the delayed Euro 2020 as favourites, although they were dealt a pre-tournament blow by being drawn in a 'group of death' with both Germany and Portugal.
Les Blues managed to go through as group winners, but lost to Switzerland in the round of 16 on penalties.
Playing for and managing Juventus
Juventus signed Deschamps from Marseille in 1994 and he won three Serie A titles in a five-year spell with the Old Lady.
In 1995/96, Deschamps was part of the side which won the UEFA Champions League. He started against Ajax and the Bianconeri won on penalties after a 1-1 draw, to win his second Champions League title as a player. Juve followed up that success shortly afterwards by beating Paris Saint-Germain to the 1996 UEFA Super Cup then bringing the Intercontinental Cup back to Turin in the same season.
Juve finished as runners-up in the Champions League with Deschamps on board in 1996/97 and 1997/98, losing to Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively in the finals. In 1999, Deschamps left for Chelsea.
After retiring, Deschamps would eventually go on to take over as Juve's manager following the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal and the departure of Fabio Capello. Juve had been relegated for their involvement and Deschamps guided them back into the top flight at the first attempt, before resigning from his post after just one season.
Didier Deschamps and Marseille
Deschamps was part of the iconic Marseille side which won the UEFA Champions League in 1992/93, stunning the heavily fancied AC Milan in the final. Deschamps was also a French champion with Marseille as a player in 1989/90 and 1991/92.
He later went on to enjoy a successful stint as manager of Marseille, having previously been in charge of rivals Monaco and led them to the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League final, where they lost to Jose Mourinho's FC Porto.
Deschamps took over as Marseille manager in 2009 and led them to the Ligue 1 title at the first attempt, marking Les Olympiens' first league championship for 18 years. If Deschamps wasn't already popular enough at OM from his time as a player, his stock will have only increased further by winning the Coupe de la Ligue three times in a row between 2010 and 2012, as well as the Trophee des Champions in 2010 and 2011.
Didier Deschamps reportedly earns a salary of £3.5m as the manager of the France national team. This is roughly in the region of what his Brazil counterpart, Tite earns.
Joachim Low is the only national team manager who reportedly earns more than Deschamps. As of the 2018 World Cup, Low earned £3.85m according to Statista.