Coach Deschamps: “Cruel results for France.”
"If we lose 0-2, we will not be in pain like this and will congratulate Argentina," coach Didier Deschamps shared after the World Cup final on December 18. "There were so many emotions going on. After all, it was cruel because we were so close to a win."
Argentina thoroughly outclassed France in the opening 70 minutes of the game. Despite without firing a single shot, Deschamps' team trailed after 36 minutes thanks to two goals from the opposition. However, Kylian Mbappe's brace in just 97 seconds in the 81st minute, which made the score 2-2, changed the course of the game. Then, despite having the edge physically and emotionally, France was unable to win the game in either of the two major halves.
Coach Deschamps couldn't help France claim the Golden Trophy two times in a row.
Messi increased the lead to 3-2 in extra time, but Mbappe completed his hat trick to bring the score to 3-3. Kolo Muani attempted a risky finish against Emiliano Martinez in the last seconds of extra time, but the Argentine goalkeeper deflected it with his foot. Kylian Mbappe had a great chance to add a fourth goal in the dying moments as he dribbled into the South American player's penalty area, but he failed to take it. After that, France lost 2-4 on penalties.
"For the first 70 minutes, our opponents played classy, energetic football," added Deschamps. "Many French players played badly for different reasons. But in a difficult situation, we were like "coming back from the dead." We regret that we missed many opportunities at the end of the two main halves. And in the extra time, we were even more upset because we missed the last-minute opportunity. If we lost with a big goal difference, it would feel very different. Anyway, I congratulate Argentina because they played great football today."
Mbappe scored a hattrick but couldn't help his nation win.
Coach Deschamps also praised the young and inexperienced players at the World Cup who came on as substitutes and created positive changes in the French team’s play. Kolo Muani brought the penalty to help Mbappe shorten the score to 1-2, while Eduardo Camavinga and Marcus Thuram repeatedly tormented the Argentine defense thanks to their strength and speed. "They helped the whole team relive the dream of defending the championship," Deschamps said. "But unfortunately, in the end, we couldn't reach that dream."
The French team possesses many young talents.
The 54-year-old strategist also thanked Kylian Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the final and became the 2022 World Cup's top scorer with eight goals. When asked about the future, Deschamps left open the possibility of continuing to lead the French team. "At the moment, me and the whole team are very sad," he said. "Even if France won, I wouldn’t always answer the question about the future. At the beginning of next year, I will talk to the President of the Federation. Then all will be answered."
Deschamps has led the French national team since 2012. In 2018, he helped France win their second World Cup trophy, something Deschamps also did as a France international in 1998. Besides, he also led France to the finals of Euro 2016 and the 2022 World Cup. Besides that, he and the French team also won the UEFA Nations League in 2020–21.