Sports Monks

Revealed: What Didier Deschamps said at half-time of the World Cup final

Didier Deschamps’ half-time pep talk that orchestrated a World Cup triumph for France has been unearthed. In a couple of minutes, he insightfully injected a way to stop Croatia, motivated his troops and charted out a simple yet effective game plan for Les Blues.

“Listen up,” he began. “Did you see? They’re using their elbows, their bodies. The guy (is) facing away, he’s facing away. Facing away from goal, he’s not going to hurt us,” referring to the Croatian style of play, aiming at some of their players.

“Don’t bother getting in front, we’re controlling him,” he instructed. According to him, their opponents were only trying to play a straight long ball to the path of Mandzukic. “Be careful around him. He can still win the ball with his head, just be careful around him,” acknowledging the fact that Mario Mandzukic is an aerial threat. He continued, “Not to be static, to already be on the move. Close him down. Think about it.”

Deschamps half-time speech at the World Cup 2018 Final: 'Give it to Kylian' pic.twitter.com/l3BzPuQszd

— Footbie (@footbie) July 19, 2018

Infusing confidence into the side, Deschamps asked his players to not make it harder for themselves and play as simple as possible.

“When you have the ball, if someone is on you, there’s another one coming. Give it. As soon as you can. Give it to Kylian,” he added, after having read Croatia’s defensive approach. Deschamps also asked Griezmann to come down during counters and add defensive cover. He wanted the Athletico Madrid forward to always be a passing option.

“45 minutes! You know that’s next! Keep your heads up! Loosen up!”

France were shut down by an energetic Croatian side in the first-half, failing to threaten going forward or catch up with their opponent’s pace in midfield. However, his half-time tactics were spot on. Be it Varane’s resolve, Pogba’s dominance in midfield, Griezmann’s creativity or Mbappe’s pace upfront, it all changed in the second-half as France lifted their second World Cup.

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