France plan for future with Deschamps after Euro 2024 exit

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:France;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">France</a> coach Didier Deschamps boards the bus after his team's defeat by <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Spain;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Spain</a> in the Euro 2024 semi-finals (FRANCK FIFE)

France boast an enviable record in major tournaments over the last decade under Didier Deschamps and have no plans to change coach despite a disappointing campaign at Euro 2024.

Tuesday's 2-1 defeat against Spain in Munich ended France's hopes of reaching a fourth final in the last five tournaments, European Championships and World Cups combined.

Reaching the semi-finals allowed Deschamps to meet the minimum target set for him in Germany, which is why French Football Federation president Philippe Diallo insisted the coach would see out his contract, which runs until 2026.

"I see no reason to call into question his contract," Diallo told sports daily L'Equipe on Wednesday.

"Past results speak for him and he has fulfilled his objectives. Didier will stay on."

The manner of France's Euros exit was deeply underwhelming, however.

They simply never caught fire, with Randal Kolo Muani's early goal to give them the lead against Spain the only one scored in open play by any of their players in six matches in Germany.

"Despite reaching the last four, France go out of the Euros with a bitter taste," was how L'Equipe summed up their campaign.

Few teams boast a squad as strong as that of Deschamps, but while his side defended superbly for most of the Euros, their attackers failed to sparkle.

Kylian Mbappe, handicapped by fitness problems, was a shadow of his usual self, while Antoine Griezmann never came close to the form he showed at the 2022 World Cup and ended up being dropped.

"My ambition was to be champion of Europe and have a good Euros, and I have not done one thing or the other," said Mbappe, whose only goal in Germany was a penalty against Poland.

France have got used to winning under Deschamps, but winning is all that has ever mattered to the coach, who is less fussed about playing with panache than about getting results.

"If you are bored you can watch something else. You are not obliged to watch us," Deschamps replied to one question by a Swedish journalist suggesting France were boring.

Those accusations have been levelled at Deschamps in the past, but not always fairly until this year.

- 'We will come back' -

His record does speak for itself, with Deschamps having taken over a team at a low ebb in 2012.

The captain of the France sides that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, he led them to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, his first tournament in charge.

They then reached the Euro 2016 final and won the 2018 World Cup before losing the 2022 World Cup final on penalties to Argentina.

France also won the UEFA Nations League in 2021 and their only truly below-par showing at a recent major tournament came at the last Euros, when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last 16.

It was following the last World Cup that Deschamps signed a contract extension until 2026, and that year's World Cup is now France's next big objective.

But it remains to be seen whether Deschamps, 55, is still the man to lead them forward after six major tournaments in charge.

It is worth citing the example of Joachim Loew, who became Germany coach in 2006.

In Loew's first five tournaments, Germany won the 2014 World Cup, got to the Euro 2008 final, and lost three semi-finals.

After that, Germany went out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage, and a last-16 exit at Euro 2020 -- his seventh major tournament -- signalled the end.

Deschamps refused to answer a question about his future after the Spain defeat.

If he does now stay, Zinedine Zidane -- often cited in the past as a possible successor -- will have to keep waiting for his chance.

Meanwhile Euro 2024 marks the end of the road for veteran striker Olivier Giroud, France's all-time top scorer, but there is no suggestion that Griezmann, aged 33, plans to retire.

"We will come back. We have talent but you need a lot more than that," Griezmann said on Tuesday, acknowledging France had not performed well enough in Germany.

They always have new stars emerging, and Paris Saint-Germain winger Bradley Barcola, just 21, has been a revelation.

Most importantly, regardless of Deschamps' own situation, France will hope to get Mbappe back on form and fully fit for their next games, against Italy and Belgium in the Nations League in September.