Labelled “super favourites” by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger before the start of the tournament, Les Bleus topped a tough group including Germany, Portugal and Hungary.
They crashed out in the round of 16 after losing to Switzerland on penalties , however, having blown a 3-1 lead in the last 10 minutes of normal time. Kylian Mbappe saw his spot kick saved by Yann Sommer, admitting afterwards that it would be “very difficult to turn the page.”
There was a massive fallout back in France, with the word “ANNIHILATED” splashed on the front page of L’Equipe the following morning. Over the next few days, there was a spate of stories about dressing-room tension, family feuds and unhappiness over the team’s facilities .
There were also rumours that Deschamps could leave his post, not least because there seemed to be a successor waiting in the wings.
Since leaving Real Madrid for the second time at the end of last season, Zinedine Zidane has been persistently linked with the French national team.
Zidane won the World Cup with France in 1998 and the Euros two years later. He came close to lifting the World Cup again in 2006, but was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi before Les Bleus lost to Italy on penalties.
As an icon of French football, the idea of Zidane taking over from Deschamps seemed well within the bounds of possibility. Asked about the France job earlier this year, Zidane admitted: “It could be an objective one day.”
As it is, it looks like he will have to wait at least another year to achieve that objective. Noel Le Graet, the president of the French Football Federation, has confirmed that Deschamps will lead France to the next World Cup, telling Le Figaro : “The answer is yes. I talked to him at length on Wednesday at Guingamp.
“The matter was settled in three minutes. His will to continue is very strong and mine is, too.
“There was no debate on ‘What are we doing?’ or ‘How do we do it?’”
Deschamps, who also won the World Cup and Euros as a player, has been in charge since 2012. Despite their Euro 2020 failure, France are still the world champions and he retains enormous cachet for their victory at Russia 2018.
Speaking to RTL in June, Deschamps suggested that he would like to carry on beyond the end of his current contract in 2022. “I will even perhaps continue after 2022 with the agreement of my president,” he said.
“People have to want to keep me and for that you need results. I will do something else at some point, but I am thriving in this role of manager.
“I have a contract until December 2022, but today I am not thinking of becoming a club coach. I am very happy, all the conditions are met.”
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