France to stick with Deschamps through 2026 World Cup

January 9 – French coach Didier Deschamps is to stay until the 2026 World Cup after leading his country to the final of the last two editions of the tournament.

Deschamps’ previous contract expired after Qatar where, as defending champions, France lost to Argentina in a penalty shootout after a thrilling final.

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet reportedly only wanted to give Deschamps a two-year extension until the 2024 European Championship in Germany but Deschamps reportedly insisted on staying in charge until the next World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“The president has decided to extend (my contract) until 2026,” Deschamps said at the FFF general assembly. “I thank the president for his constant support and his continued confidence in me.”

Deschamps, who played for Marseille, Juventus and Chelsea, captained France when they won their first World Cup in 1998 and became coach of the national team in 2012.

He guided France to the Euro 2016 final on home soil where they lost to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and two years later led Les Bleus to glory at the World Cup in Russia, where they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final.

In Qatar, France overcame the loss through injury of several key players including world player of the year Karim Benzema just before the tournament but went on to reach the final.

Deschamps’ only real low point came when France were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Switzerland at the last 16 stage. He is the longest-serving France coach in history, ahead of Michel Hidalgo who held the job from March 1976 to June 1984.

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