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Didier Deschamps replaces Laurent Blanc as France coach

8th July 2012

• Former Juventus manager quit Marseille a week ago
• Samir Nasri’s disciplinary hearing among first hurdles

Didier Deschamps was appointed France coach on Sunday, the latest 1998 World Cup winner to be handed the difficult task of moulding a group of argumentative players into the successful team their skills often promise.

“Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, and Didier Deschamps have finished their discussions and have reached an agreement for the nomination of Mr Deschamps as France coach,” an FFF statement read.

France’s 1998 World Cup-winning captain left Marseille almost a week ago and replaces Laurent Blanc, who quit after the national side’s Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat by Spain, the eventual winners.

Deschamps’ first job will be to unite an often fractious squad as they attempt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil via a difficult group, including Spain, who are also world champions.

The federation has summoned four players, including the midfielder Samir Nasri, who launched a foul-mouthed rant at a reporter, to a disciplinary hearing over “misbehaviour” at Euro 2012 – underlying Deschamps’ problems.

Deschamps, whose managerial record is patchy, also needed several days to make up his mind to accept the job.

He led modest Monaco to the Champions League final in 2004 and took Juventus back into Serie A in 2007 after their match-fixing demotion, only to resign straight afterwards having clashed with the board over signings.

Marseille sealed the French title in 2010 under his stewardship but last season was woeful as one of France’s best supported clubs could finish only 10th in Ligue 1.

His first match in charge of France will be a friendly against Uruguay in Le Havre on 15 August.


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