Didier Deschamps named new French coach

MARK MEADOWS
Last updated 12:58 09/07/2012
Didier Deschamps
Reuters
TALL ORDER: Didier Deschamps has been handed the poison chalice of coaching the French football team.

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Didier Deschamps was appointed France coach, the latest 1998 World Cup winner to be handed the difficult task of moulding a group of argumentative players into the successful team their skills often promise.

"Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, and Didier Deschamps have finished their discussions and have reached an agreement for the nomination of Mr Deschamps as France coach," an FFF statement read.

A news conference will take place at 1530 GMT on Monday at the feederation's headquarters.

France's 1998 World-Cup winning captain left Olympique Marseille almost a week ago and replaces Laurent Blanc, who quit following the national side's Euro 2012 quarter-final exit.

Deschamps' first job will be to unite an often fractious squad as they bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil via a difficult group including world champions Spain.

The federation has summoned four players, including midfielder Samir Nasri who launched a foul mouthed rant at a reporter, to a disciplinary hearing over "misbehaviour" at Euro 2012 - underlying Deschamps' problems.

Blanc, who took over in 2010 after a dreadful World Cup where the players mutinied, left after his side produced a soulless performance in the 2-0 defeat by eventual winners Spain at the European championship in Ukraine and Poland.

Blanc took time to decide if he would sign a new contract and then opted to walk away, with media reports saying some of Europe's top clubs would seek his signature.

Deschamps, who managerial record is patchy, also needed several days to make up his mind to accept the job.

He led modest Monaco to the Champions League final in 2004 and took Juventus back into Serie A in 2007 following their match-fixing demotion only to resign straight afterwards having clashed with the board over signings.

Marseille sealed the French title in 2010 under his stewardship but last season was woeful as one of France's best supported clubs could only finish 10th in Ligue 1.

His first match in charge of France will be a friendly against Uruguay in Le Havre on Aug. 15.

Factbox on Didier Deschamps:

NANTES DEBUT

* Born: Oct. 15, 1968 in Bayonne, France, the midfielder made his league debut for Nantes in Sept. 1985 before leaving to join Olympique Marseille four years later.

* Won the first of his 103 caps for France in 1989 when he came on as a substitute in a 0-0 World Cup qualifier at home to Yugoslavia.

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* After spending a brief stint at Girondins Bordeaux he returned to Marseille where he helped to clinch the league championship in 1991 and 1992 before achieving Champions League glory in 1993.

MOVE TO ITALY

* Moved to Italian side Juventus in 1994 and won three Serie A titles and the Champions League again in 1996.

* Was famously derided as a "water carrier" by former France team mate Eric Cantona, who meant that Deschamps would break up attacks before laying the ball off for more talented players.

WORLD CUP

* Captained France to World Cup victory on home soil in 1998 and followed that with victory at Euro 2000 before retiring from international football.

* In between the World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs he moved to English side Chelsea but left after one disappointing season and moved to Valencia, where he also played a single campaign before retirement in 2001.

MANAGEMENT

* In 2001 he became manager of Monaco and won the 2003 French League Cup before leading them to the 2004 Champions League final which they lost 3-0 to Porto.

* Resigned in Sept. 2005 after a bad start to the season.

* Returned to Italy and was appointed Juventus coach in July 2006 following their demotion from Serie A due to a match-fixing scandal. After persuading several top players to stay, led the team straight back to the top flight despite a nine-point deduction.

* Resigned a week after Juve secured promotion amid disagreements with club officials over the way forward in Serie A.

MARSEILLE RETURN

* Appointed successor to Eric Gerets as manager of Olympique Marseille for the 2009/10 season.

* Won French title in first season back at Marseille and led the side to runners-up spot in 2011 but failed to build on that league success - despite a record third straight League Cup triumph - with the club finishing 10th in Ligue 1 last term.

* Named France coach on Sunday to succeed former national team mate Laurent Blanc who decided not to renew his contract after the country's quarter-final exit at Euro 2012.

- Reuters

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