France where crowned champions of the world back in Russia2018 after series of impressive performance through out the campaign.
But behind the scenes, a lot transpired which created a unity within the squad.
Ladies and Gentlemen Dockaysworld brings you an indept of everything that went on behind the scenes before and throughout the campaign.
24th May 2018 | 2 days after arriving at Clairefontaine,Didier Deschamps put his squad through a gruelling fitness session that required players to maintain a speed
of 15km/h for 4 minutes in 4 spells in quick succession. Griezmann smiled: “This is Easier than at Atletico.”
An evening in Clairefontaine | Paul Pogba & Griezmann watch the EURO 2000 final together, in which Deschamps (#7) played. Pogba comments genuinely: “The coach is
pretty good! Who is our 7?” He realises & laughs: “Of course, it is Grizi! You took #7 to be just like the coach!”
End of May | Griezmann’s future hangs over the squad -he has already decided to stay at Atletico, but wanted guarantees on the squad being strengthened. He duly
convinces Atleti to sign Thomas Lemar & Djibril Sidibé – a deal for the latter falls through over fitness concerns.
14th June | Griezmann’s decision on his future, with Barça after him, was aired by a Gerard Piqué-owned company in a vastly over-dramatised TV show. Deschamps was
unimpressed: “It is good this is over Antoine. Now we start competing & we focus solely on that.”
9th June | After a disappointing final friendly match draw with the United States (1-1) in Lyon, Deschamps’ post-match speech focuses on the positives: “We are missing things in our game, but don’t worry, we have worked a lot on our fitness & physicality.”
12th June | The boys arrive in Russia & the squad roles begin to form: Blaise Matuidi & Steve Mandanda = the sensible ones, Adil Rami = the joker, Benjamin Mendy =
the entertainer, Kylian Mbappé = the one everyone loves to annoy, Ousmane Dembélé & Presnel Kimpembe = DJs
Dembouz | Dembélé surprises the entire squad with his music taste, often blaring out 76-year-old French singer Michel Fugain’s “Une Belle Histoire” which brings
Mandanda to say: “So you have a rebellious streak on the pitch & you listen to this type of stuff?”
Dembouz | Dembélé also becomes the butt of all jokes upon arrival at French base camp in Istra, when he forgets his passport on the coach & fails to realise until he is
asked for it at the hotel reception – the bus driver had driven off a while ago, forcing him to turn back.
13th June | News filters that Spain have sacked Julen Lopetegui a day before the World Cup. Deschamps turns to FFF President Le Graët: “What would you do if this happened? (an offer from Real Madrid)” Le Graët: “I have it all planned: Ripoll (U21s coach) is already in Russia!”
14th June | Deschamps tells Olivier Giroud & Matuidi that they won’t be starting against Australia – both are furious
that they weren’t told earlier than 2 days before, especially as the coach had gone on about the importance of experience at this World Cup.
18th June | Deschamps rips into his players in a video session after a disappointing 2-1 win over Australia, going
in on Griezmann, Dembélé & Mbappé: “You ran 8 kilometres less than our opponent. Your pressing was disorganised. You didn’t do what I asked.”
18th June | Pogba pipes up to defend his team-mates: “But we didn’t understand your instructions.” Deschamps snipes back: “You didn’t understand my instructions? They were pretty simple: run, press together, fill in.”
18th June | In this video session, Deschamps knocks Dembélé for his poor dribbling & defensive efforts,
Griezmann for his lack of acceleration & Mbappé for not using his pace effectively: “You speed is your strength Kylian & you are not using it.”
21st June | In the elevator at base camp at Istra following the 1-0 win over Peru, assistant manager Guy Stéphan tells Matuidi that he received a 3/10 rating in L’Équipe: “In our eyes, you produced the exact match that we wanted you to.”
26th June | France qualify for the knockout stages with a 0-0 draw with Denmark. The squad is allowed to reunite with their families in Moscow but anger Deschamps by letting their girlfriends/wives into their hotel rooms after the permitted time. Rules are starkly reiterated.
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