Didier Deschamps: “Don’t mix the sentimental and the professional”


While the French team started the League of Nations the wrong way with a defeat to Denmark (1-2) on Friday, Didier Deschamps, coach and emblematic figure of the Blues, gave an exclusive interview to Europe 1. Six Months of the World Cup in Qatar, the 53-year-old former captain looks back on the incidents at the Stade de France a week ago, on his responsibilities as a coach, on his choices today, the competition in the French team, but also Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Oliver Giroud.

On the incidents at the Stade de France: “An image far from positive”

“I don’t have all the elements. I’m not going to say it’s one or the other. All I can say about my position as a manager and football fan is that these are things that are deplorable. The importance of this event gives a global image that is far from positive. In retrospect, everyone has their decision-making power. It shouldn’t have happened, “It happened. It is very unfortunate. These are things we don’t want to do, because football is chosen, it can also be done at other sports locations.

For various reasons I never get happy when I see such images. Unfortunately, sports arenas and football, the most popular sport today, are places where people pour out a little too much hatred and aggressiveness. There are things to improve, even if it is not clear. I am not standing in for the clubs, who have their responsibility. That things like that happen less in the beginning, happen a lot less and don’t happen anymore, that would be ideal.”

About his role as a coach: ‘I need that adrenaline’

“Obviously I feel very good in this position. It’s been almost ten years, I’ve changed. I know a lot more things and I have more measure of the coach position, whether it’s when I’m with the players and also outside I’ve always said it’s linked to the results because if I hadn’t had the results I wouldn’t be here today I’m fulfilled and I always have been even though there weren’t just easy or enjoyable ones moments There were more pleasant than unpleasant But I like it I repeat I have satisfaction in this job as a coach because it is of the very high level and I have always been used to that I need that and that adrenaline .”

What he likes about this position: “It’s the most beautiful thing there is for me”

“It is the essence of what makes sport, that is, the very high level with the corresponding demands. I was privileged to know that in my first life as a player. But in football there is nothing that can be stronger, more important than a title of world champion or European champion Even if the other matches you win in the club are important But to represent your country, which represents this blue, white and red jersey for me, to wear to ten years as a player and there as to be a coach at the service of the French team, professionally, that’s the most beautiful thing there is for me.”

The Ballon d’Or for Karim Benzema? “He is definitely the big favourite”

“It is not you who will decide, nor I, but he has done everything to get it. And this title of European champion with Real Madrid… He was so decisive during the season. He deserved for this title. He is definitely the big favorite to get this individual award.”

On Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay at PSG: “It’s better to have Kylian who remains a link at all levels”

“If he made that choice, it’s because he thinks it’s the best choice for him. What I can say in retrospect, compared to France and French football, it’s better to have “Kylian who remains a link at all levels. Also compared to the eyes of foreigners, Kylian’s presence emphasizes our national championship even more.”

About Olivier Giroud: “He knows the situation”

“He knows the situation. We have already switched several times. I have already spoken about him and the goal I have with the players present at this rally. But I know that he is very attached to the French team and that he is always available. Every time I have to make choices regarding a group. But I am well aware, and that makes my choices even more difficult, that those who are not in the 24 players I selected, there are some who could be there or who will be there at the next rally or in the list for the World Cup.

On the difficulty of the choices: “You can’t mix the sentimental and the professional”

“You can’t mix the sentimental and the professional. It never goes well together. I’m convinced of that. But otherwise these are my choices and I assume. But these are not choices I make in relation to me. I have always made, which I will always make for the good of the team. The French team is not mine, I am at his service, I am here to make sure it is as efficient as possible. there are people who have preferences it’s always an eternal debate.

I’m not here to justify myself, I can argue more or less and I don’t want to say certain things. We are very into the interpretation. No one can possess the elements that I have outside, but everyone can get an idea, interpret it. The risk is to jump to hasty conclusions. Today’s truth, it’s today’s, tomorrow’s, I don’t know. If anyone knows her, I’m a taker.”

About Nations League: ‘Better competition than friendlies’

“It’s the penultimate meeting as we don’t have a meeting in October and we won’t have any preparation as the players stop a week before the start of the World Cup. Usually it was two games per meeting, we got through to three, but there we have there are four that are very close together in a period that is never clear, as it is the period when the players should be on vacation.There are also differences in athletic level because some players have been retired for a few weeks, others for a week or two weeks ago. But if you want to prepare for the World Cup, it is better to have a league than friendlies.”

On the competition between Lloris and Maignan: “Hugo is number one, it’s up to him to do everything he can to stay that way

“I’m not going to complain. At the goalkeeper level there is a lot of quality and Mike is running a very good season. The important thing is that things are clear internally, even if it is preparing, anticipating, it is my duty. Hugo, he maintains his level of performance at his club Tottenham and in the French team, he is also captain and it is a role that he fully assumes, he is part of the executives, the leaders he may not be very expressive but when there is something to say , he says so I talk to him a lot, just like the elderly, to get his feelings.

The competition is there, it gets stronger for many players, but all the better, it also forces the oldest, most experienced player not to fall asleep. If I have to make decisions, make choices, everything will depend on the level they show and what the youngest can do. At this rally there is of course the possibility to divide the playing time between Hugo and Mike. Hugo is the number one goalkeeper of the French team, it’s up to him to do everything he can to stay that way.”

On the centenary of Rowing Bayonnais: “A special attachment”

“It was there that I took my first license. This passion for football, to be well surrounded, it is also my hometown, I have my whole family. I have a special attachment to a sports club because it is not just football. always rugby which is kind of the main sport locally 100 years is a symbolic number I like the number 100 so it becomes a pleasure for me it is home close to my family what this club represents and what it allowed me what to do at the beginning of my career.”