Didier Deschamps will be staying on as France manager, despite his side’s abject performance at this summer’s European Championships.
Les Blues were heavy favourites to add a European title to the World Cup they won in Russia back in 2018 but crashed out in the last-16 amid growing tensions within the squad.
After beating Germany 1-0 in Munich in their opening game, France then concluded the group stage with frustrating draws against Hungary and Portugal.
Didier Deschamps will be staying on as France manager, despite a poor showing at Euro 2020
They then failed to win their first knockout game of the tournament as Switzerland beat them on penalties in the last-16.
Deschamps – France’s longest-serving boss – was heavily criticised by the French press in the aftermath and reports suggested his former international team-mate Zinedine Zidane was in the running to replace him after he left Real Madrid.
But French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has revealed Deschamps’ future has now been sorted after they met for talks on Wednesday.
‘Within 3 minutes it was sorted,’ he told Le Figaro.
Deschamps will now see out the rest of his contract, which expires in December 2022 following France’s attempt to defend their World Cup crown in Qatar.
Le Graet has been a huge supporter of Deschamps since he took over from Laurent Blanc in 2012, having gone on to manage 117 games as Les Bleus boss.
Deschamps admitted before the tournament he was open to extending his deal, having agreed to fresh terms as recently as December 2019 to take him through until after the next World Cup.
France lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16 amid growing tension in the squad
‘I may continue after 2022 with the agreement of my president,’ Deschamps told RTL in June .
‘People have to want to keep me and for that you need results. I will do something else at some point, but I am thriving in this role of manager.
‘I have a contract until December 2022, but today I am not thinking of becoming a club coach. I am very happy, all the conditions are met.’
Tensions appeared to reach boiling point within the French camp in the days before their elimination by Switzerland though, promoting questions over whether Deschamps was the man to lead them forward.
Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Benjamin Pavard were spotted bickering during the last-16 clash because of the Manchester United midfielder’s lack of effort defensively.
Pogba had crashed home a superb strike from distance to send France 3-1 ahead against the Swiss, but Benjamin Pavard aired his frustrations at his work-rate and the defender quickly informed his team-mate.
A row involving Paul Pogba (left), Raphael Varane (centre) and Benjamin Pavard had broken out
‘Benj (Pavard) thinks that you are not defending enough,’ Varane is believed to have told Pogba, as claimed by Le Parisien.
Pogba then fired back, reportedly furious over the criticism, and confronted Pavard to ask: ‘What did you say?’
The outlet adds that Pavard followed up with several insults during the row, and even suggests the apparent disharmony in the group was a contributing factor in their collapse and shock exit.
It is also said Pogba apologised to Varane in the dressing room after the match, but the relationships between several players appear to remain at breaking point.
Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann in particular are understood to have been frosty towards each other, with reports in France claiming that the duo have been ‘far from friendly’.
It was Paris Saint-Germain frontman Mbappe who saw the decisive spot kick saved, and he has been at the heart of the storm. Senior players are believed to have been annoyed with his ‘sulking’ in recent weeks.
Kylian Mbappe (centre) and Antoine Griezmann (right) are said to have been ‘far from friendly’
L’Equipe were the first to highlight the divide between Mbappe and Griezmann, and they added the former grew ‘jealous’ of the Barcelona forward’s role in the squad.
And with Mbappe failing to control his emotions, Steve Mandanda, Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko – a number of the more experienced heads with France at the showpiece – grew tired of the antics.
Sensationally, it also emerged that the mother of Adrien Rabiot, Veronique, had argued with the relatives of her son’s team-mates in the stands after their elimination.
Veronique looked to defend the midfielder, who she also acts as an agent for, and reportedly told Mbappe’s father to ‘reframe his son and make him less arrogant’.
It is claimed a ‘heated exchange’ then broke out between Veronique and Mbappe’s parents, with the families of other players left ‘shocked’ by the outburst.
She is also said to have turned her ire to Pogba’s family, and asked why he squandered possession cheaply before Switzerland broke away to score and send the tie to extra-time.