France manager Didier Deschamps was left soaked in beer, champagne and sweat after celebrating World Cup glory with his delirious squad – a moment he will cherish alongside the crowning achievement of his playing career.
A 4-2 win over Croatia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium earned Deschamps access to one of football’s most elite clubs, those who have lifted the World Cup as both competitor and coach. Only Franz Beckenbauer, of Germany, and Brazil’s Mario Zagallo have managed the same feat, but neither marked the moment with quite the same outpouring of joy.
As he prepared to begin his post-match media conference Deschamps was mobbed by a conga line of players chanting his name and dousing him with whatever drink came to hand.
He was hugged, squeezed, jostled and cajoled by the young, diverse and talented team he has led to the summit of the sport and he did not attempt to stop them for a moment.
“They are a little crazy, they have always been a little mad,” he said with the broadest of smiles.
“They are young and they are happy.”
Deschamps added: “I had the immense pleasure and privilege to live through this as a player 20 years ago. It is marked in my memory forever, but what the players did is just as beautiful and just as strong. I have a son who is 22 and he was too young when we were world champions: now young people are living through this.”