Football

Deschamps the realist

Les Bleus dreaming of final but coach focused on only Germany

France coach Didier Deschamps has sought to temper growing expectations generated by his team's impressive run to the World Cup quarter-finals.

Les Bleus defeated Nigeria 2-0 in yesterday morning's Round-of-16 game in Brasilia to set up a quarter-final meeting with Germany on Friday.

Under Deschamps' steady guidance, France have risen majestically from the ashes of the chaotic 2010 campaign in South Africa.

But the skipper of the 1998 world title-winning side is keeping his feet firmly on the ground back at his squad's Brazil headquarters in Ribeirao Preto this morning (Singapore time).

"I'm a realist, my target, like my players, is Friday," he said the day after goals from Paul Pogba and an own-goal from Joseph Yobo downed Nigeria.

Deschamps, 45, added: "It doesn't serve any purpose to look any further ahead. The reality now is Germany on Friday.

"Everyone can dream, including me, but I'm a pragmatist and a realist, Friday is the only thing that counts."

'NOT TOURISTS'

Deschamps, who succeeded fellow World Cup and Euro 2000 winner Laurent Blanc as national coach after Euro 2012, rejected the notion that France were favourites against Germany but also made clear his team weren't going to Rio de Janeiro's Maracana "as tourists".

He downplayed any lingering significance of the memorable 1982 World Cup semi-final between the two teams.

The game in Seville attained notoriety when Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher shoulder-charged Patrick Battiston, leaving the Frenchman unconscious on the ground.

"They (his players) weren't even born then, what would I speak to them about?" said Deschamps.

"Joachim Loew (Germany coach) is completely right. Have respect for former players and what's taken place but we're not playing against old rivals." 
- AFP.


“It doesn’t serve any purpose to look any further ahead. The reality now is Germany on Friday.”

— France coach Didier Deschamps

World Cup