Didier Deschamps

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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(...)

Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera lets Antoine Griezmann’s shot slip through his hands during the 2018 World Cup quarter-final against France in Nizhny Novgorod. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Uruguay 0 France 2 Uruguay are the smallest country to win the World Cup but their defeat to France showed why little countries find it harder to lif(...)

Kylian Mbappe   scores to put France 3-2 ahead during the last 16 victory over Argentina in Kazan. Photograph: Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

France 4 Argentina 3 This was surely no way for a player with a serious claim to being the best on the planet to exit the international game’s great(...)

 France’s midfielder Paul Pogba heads the ball with Argentina defenders Nicolas Otamendi  and  Nicolas Tagliafico during the  World Cup round of 16 match at the Kazan Arena. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli acknowledged that his side simply couldn’t cope with the pace of the French counter-attacking in this afternoon’s first(...)

 France forward Kylian Mbappe  celebrates with team-mate  Antoine Griezmann after scoring their fourth goal  in the round of 16 World Cup clash against Argentina  at the Kazan Arena. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

France 4 Argentina 3 If Argentina paid much attention to France’s pre-tournament friendlies they might be forgiven if they made the mistake of discou(...)

 Kylian Mbappe (right) celebrates scoring France’s winner against Peru with Anoine Griezmann.  France have managed just three goals to date – fewer than any other group winners. Photograph: Anne-Christine/AFP/Getty

Like Joachim Löw, Didier Deschamps came to Russia having to hope that his side would gel over the course of group stages then, hey presto, pull a rabb(...)

Lionel Messi: Wonderful goal against Nigeria showed Argentina’s star is still capable of delivering the goods on the biggest stage. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

It is now, as the Russians apparently say, about becoming a master or a deadman. And all but one of the teams that remain at this World Cup must ultim(...)

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