France manager Didier Deschamps has highlighted three important factors that could help his side to victory in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia final against Croatia on Sunday.
Deschamps have the opportunity to join an exclusive list of players to have won the World Cup as a player and a coach when his French side line out against Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital.
Deschamps was captain of Les Blues in their only World Cup triumph, twenty years ago on home soil and he enumerated the keys to success ahead of the final:
“There is nothing more beautiful, nothing stronger when one is a professional football player, the best is to play in the World Cup final,” said Deschamps who played in the 1998 final.
“We have managed to prepare as best as we could and the three important keys are that we must stay calm, we must have confidence and we must have concentration.
“We are working on those three words in order to prepare for Sunday’s match as best as possible,” he added.
Under Deschamps, France were beaten finalists at the 2016 European Championship, also on home soil and the former midfielder believes that the current squad although younger on the average have better qualities than that of two years ago.
He believes the youthfulness should not count against his side on Sunday.
“The current team is different from the one of two years ago because fourteen players were not there in 2016 but those players have since integrated into the team.
“Of course their experience is not much but the quality is there. It is true that the Croatian team have an experienced team because the players have been together in tournaments but whatever the match we have challenged for in this World Cup, we’ve always been facing teams more experienced than us and we scaled through.”
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers of this tournament. He kept two consecutive clean sheets in their quarter and semi final games.
Lloris spoke on the players’ relaxed approach to the final.
“Smiling, having fun and having this positive energy is important because that enables us to have enough distance before stepping into this contest,” said the team captain.
“As I was saying, we have been together very well since the beginning and there is this good mix with our coaches and we hope this will guide us to success,” added Lloris.
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Moscow