PARIS: After leading France to the World Cup final in each of the previous two editions, Didier Deschamps announced on Saturday that he will remain the team’s coach until the 2026 tournament.
After the World Cup in Qatar, where the defending champions France lost to Argentina in a thrilling final on December 18 via penalty shootout, Deschamps’ contract came to an end.
Although the 54-year-old coach insisted on remaining in charge until the next World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, it had been reported that the president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noel Le Graet, only wanted to extend Deschamps’ contract for a period of two years until the 2024 European Championship.
Deschamps stated at the FFF general assembly, “I am going to announce something which for me is an immense pleasure, and that is that the president has decided to extend [my contract]until 2026.” Deschamps added, “I thank the president for his ongoing support and confidence in me.” The functioning of the France team is absolutely necessary.”
In a statement, the FFF confirmed the extension. The statement continued, “The French Football Federation and its president, Noel Le Graet, are pleased to announce the extension of Didier Deschamps’ contract as head coach of the French national team until June 2026.”
According to the FFF, physical trainer Cyril Moine, goalkeeping coach Franck Raviot, and assistant coach Guy Stephan for Deschamps will also continue their work with the national team.
France are currently ranked third in the FIFA world rankings, behind Brazil and Argentina, who are ranked second.
Deschamps, a former midfielder for Marseille and Juventus, led France to their first World Cup victory in 1998 on home soil. In 2012, he took over as coach of the national team.
He led Les Bleus to glory at the World Cup in Russia, where they defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final, two years after leading France to the Euro 2016 final, where they lost to Portugal led by Cristiano Ronaldo. France also won the 2021 Nations League under Deschamps.
In Qatar, France prevailed over the loss caused by Karim Benzema’s injury just before the tournament to reach the final.
With the help of a hat trick from Kylian Mbappe, they rallied from a 2-0 deficit against Argentina to win 3-3 after extra time. They fell 4-2 in the penalty shootout.