When could Zinedine Zidane take over from Didier Deschamps as France manager?
French newspaper Le Parisien have confirmed that France head coach Didier Deschamps will stay in his post until at least the end of Euro 2024, ending speculation, for now at least, that Zinedine Zidane would take over from his former Juventus teammate after the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
France defeated England to reach Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-finals
On Saturday, France moved another step closer towards becoming the first team since Brazil in 1962 to defend their World Cup trophy by edging out England by two goals to one in the quarter-finals. Real Madrid midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni put Les Bleus into the lead in the first half before Harry Kane levelled for the Three Lions from the penalty spot after half-time. But Olivier Giroud’s late header, and an even later penalty miss from England captain Kane, ensured France’s progress to the semi-finals.
Didier Deschamps was full of respect for England’s performance tonight.
“They’re a very good team. All four teams in the semi finals are the best teams at this World Cup, some teams may have been stronger but they’ve been knocked out – that’s elite football.” pic.twitter.com/g7xcYGTQai
— Chris Flanagan (@CFlanaganFFT) December 10, 2022
French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët had issued Deschamps with an ultimatum of sorts before the tournament in Qatar, stating that the ex-Marseille manager would be able to decide his own future if he led the team to the semi-finals or further.
And, according to Le Parisien, Deschamps made the decision some time ago that he was keen on leading France into the 2024 European Championships in Germany, provided they qualify. Les Bleus have been drawn in a qualifying group with Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar.
Deschamps has the full support of the federation and the players on the roster, while the fact that he will likely have a similar group of players at his disposal, barring one or two exceptions, for the Euros is thought to have been another factor in his decision to prolong his stay.
Zidane Zidane must wait to become France manager
What does Deschamps’ contract renewal mean for Zinedine Zidane? The 1998 Ballon d’Or winner has only ever managed Real Madrid (or Real Madrid Castilla) and has reportedly turned down a number of opportunities to return to management since leaving Los Blancos in May 2021. Some sources had claimed that Zizou had agreed to replace his former teammate after the 2022 World Cup but that will now not be the case and Zidane will have to wait at least another year and a half to take over as national team boss. Deschamps has previously said that Zidane will become French national team manager “at one point or another.”
Deschamps is one of the longest serving managers in international football, having taken over as French coach after the European Championships in July 2012. He has taken charge of 137 matches, winning 88, drawing 27 and losing just 22. During his tenure, France have won the 2018 World Cup and the 2021 UEFA Nations League, while they reached the final of Euro 2016 on home turf.
Who will France play in the Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-finals?
France will play Morocco in the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on Wednesday, 14 December, with kick-off at 2pm ET. The winners will face either Argentina or Croatia in the final on Sunday, 18 December (kick-off 10am ET).