Didier Deschamps
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France’s World Cup win was the “supreme coronation” after the “hurt” of losing in the last European Championship final, said coach Didier Deschamps.

Les Bleus beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow on Sunday to become world champions for the second time in their history.

They lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016, which they hosted.

“It’s a young team, who are on the top of the world. Some are champions at the age of 19,” said Deschamps, who captained France to glory in 1998.

The 49-year-old is just the third man – after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer – to win the competition as a player and coach.

He said the victory was “not about me”, adding: “It’s the players who won the game.”

France’s first goal came from a controversially awarded free-kick, while the second was a penalty given after referee Nestor Pitana consulted his video assistants and overturned his original decision.

Deschamps felt his side “deserved to win”.

“We did not play a huge game but we showed mental quality,” he said. “And we scored four goals anyway.

“For 55 days, we have done a lot of work. We are proud to be French, to be Bleus.

“The group worked so hard and we had some tough moments along the way. It hurt so much to lose the European Championship two years ago, but it made us learn too.”


France took the lead after 18 minutes when Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick deflected in off Mario Mandzukic’s head – but Croatia deservedly equalised courtesy of Ivan Perisic’s left-foot finish.

Griezmann’s penalty, awarded by referee Nestor Pitana for handball against Perisic after a lengthy delay while VAR was consulted, put France back in front.

They looked to have wrapped it up with two goals in six minutes from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe either side of the hour mark, but Mandzukic pulled one back.

Griezmann said France “managed to make the difference” despite Croatia starting game strongly.

“I do not know where I am!” he said at full-time. “I am really happy. It was a very difficult match.”

Croatia became the smallest country to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950 when they beat England in the last four.

They were hoping to prevent a repeat of the 1998 semi-final, when hosts France beat them en route to lifting the trophy.

But assistant coach Drazen Ladic said Griezmann’s penalty “knocked the wind out” of his side.

“First of all I want to congratulate France. We are sad but proud at the same time,” he said.

“We wanted to win the World Cup so much but that’s football.

“The French did not surprise us, we let in two soft goals coupled with an own goal and a penalty.”


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