Didier Deschamps

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Croatia’s players walk on the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow ahead of the World Cup final against France. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

World Cup finalists France and Croatia both named unchanged sides as they prepared to do battle for the biggest prize in football at the Luzhniki Stad(...)

Kylian Mbappé: faster than Ronaldo? Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

The most common comparison that has been made these past few weeks has been with one Brazilian great, Ronaldo, but there have been messages from the g(...)

 Kylian Mbappé against  Belgium  at Saint Petersburg Stadium. His quick feet buy him and his teammates extra space inside congested penalty areas. Photograph: Getty Images

Solid foundations begin in defence France’s tactics in the 1-0 semi-final win against Belgium did not draw universal approval. “They have played ant(...)

Didier Deschamps lifts the  Jules Rimet trophy at the Stade de France in 1998. The former France  captain could become just the third man to win the World Cup as a player and manager.  Photograph: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

Almost 20 years to the day since France beat Brazil 3-0 in Paris to win their first and only World Cup, the man who captained a team that united a nat(...)

Paul Pogba of France celebrates victory following their 2018 World Cup semi-final clash with Belgium in St Petersburg. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The day took way, way too long to amble towards 7pm. And when the teams finally took to the field the St Petersburg DJ missed a trick by not serenadin(...)

Kylian Mbappe celebrates France’s 1-0 win over Belgium. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty

When the final whistle came, the sheer joy of the celebrations came as a surprise. Kylian Mbappé was face down on the ground, Hugo Lloris racing up th(...)

Belgium’s assistant coach Thierry Henry at Monday’s training session. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

France v Belgium Saint Petersburg Stadium, Tuesday, 7pm Live on RTÉ 2 and BBC 1 A little like neighbours who pop next door to each other in order to(...)

 A news conference  at  Spartak Stadium in Moscow. World Cup press conferences are a daily piece of amateur theatre where the questions are often repetitive, the players are generally bored, and the managers find 50 ways to say nothing. Photograph: James Hill/The New York Times

No one expects scintillating Socratic dialogue or even normal reportorial discourse at a World Cup press conference. But even by the tournament’s rela(...)

   Kylian Mbappe:  has really impressed at this World Cup with his pace, control and dribbling skills that combine to give France  a cutting edge in attack. Photograph: Kirill Dudravatsev/AFP/Getty

So, here we are in the semi-finals. This was the target set for Didier Deschamps by the French Federation, so he can take a bow and say the job’s done(...)

Belgium’s assistant coach Thierry Henry looks on before the quarter-final against Brazil. Photograph: Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images

The irony of Thierry Henry, one of France’s all-time soccer greats, plotting his own country’s downfall at the World Cup in Russia has not been lost o(...)

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