ST PETERSBURG Russia (Xinhua) --
France coach Didier Deschamps looked back to
happy and sad memories after France’s 1-0 win over Belgium in
their World Cup semifinal on Tuesday night.
Samuel Umtiti’s 51st
minute header gave France the win and Deschamps said he had
already seen scenes of celebration which reminded him of his
success as a player when France last won the World Cup in 1998.
“It brings back
excellent memories, but that was in the final, this is the
semifinal. We have a privilege to get to the final,” he said,
before saying he was “here to write a new page in history.”
“What we did 20
years ago will always remain, but you have to live in the
present, you can’t look in the rear-view mirror, you have to
move forward,” explained Deschamps.
The win means France
have another shot at a title, two years after losing the final
of the 2016 European Championships 1-0 to Portugal, in a
tournament which was played on home soil.
“Two years ago, it
was really painful, but in sport you have the chance to share
success with the French people. The Euros were at home, but here
we can still feel the support of the French people,” said
Deschamps, who praised the commitment of his players.
“We have spent 49
days together: who could believe we are now in the final of the
World Cup. Now we have 4 days to prepare. We are going to
celebrate with our families and then we will do everything to
ensure there is no repeat of two years ago,” he said.
Belgium were difficult rivals and had “made us suffer, but its
good we were pragmatic and realistic.”
“We faced a really
good Belgium team, but we hurt them and we could have hurt them
more if we had been more precise, but we were prepared for
anything and we showed once again everything that is positive,”
The French coach had
special praise for Paul Pogba. “He has grown in the team, he’s
an expressive player and his performance only increases his
importance to the side.”