St. Petersburg, July 9: France head coach Didier Deschamps views Tuesday’s FIFA World Cup semi-final against Belgium as an opportunity for his footballers to take another step towards fulfilling their full potential.
Two years ago France lost the 2016 European Championship final to Portugal. Now they have the chance to book another final appearance although Deschamps prefers to look on the game as another opportunity for success, rather than atonement for the past.
“All I am going to say now is that we are in the semi-final and we have the chance to play in the final of the World Cup, so let’s try to do everything. Tomorrow we have to give everything to get there,” said Deschamps at the pre-match press conference.
France has a young team with players like Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann and the coach believes that despite recent success, they can continue to improve.
“The potential is there, the individual quality is there, this side is younger than the side that was in the final of Euro 2016 but they have a lot of club experience at (a) high level,” he explained.
“We will be more competitive. In two and four years, we have a lot of players who will still be here with us. There is potential for progression and this experience here should help them,” said the French tactician who captained his country to the 1998 World Cup glory.
Deschamps said France rested four players in training as a “precaution” but that he had a full squad for Tuesday.
“Maybe I am in the right place at the right time and we all work hard, but the game belongs to the players, the manager has his role, but it is different,” he said. IANS