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Is it time for Zidane to take over the French national team?

FOOTBALL By Robert Abong'o | June 29th 2021
Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - France v Switzerland - National Arena Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania - June 28, 2021 France coach Didier Deschamps [Reuters, Franck Fife]

Following France’s dramatic elimination from the Euro 2020 last night, fans around the world have begun thinking about a new manager. 

Didier Deschamps’ men fell 5-4 to Switzerland on a penalty shootout after a thrilling 3-3 draw in normal time. 

The World Cup champions, who came into the competition as favourites failed to live up to expectations after managing only one win and two draws in the Group Stage. 

European tabloids now claim Deschamps future as France head coach could be at risk, considering his contract runs after the 2022 World Cup. His rumoured replacement, French hero Zinedine Zidane

After the game last night, an unhappy Deschamps was quick to dismiss speculation about his future, saying the team is still united. 

“That is not the question. There is unity and solidarity in this squad. I am responsible when things go badly - I am with them, they are with me. We will need time to manage this, it hurts tonight” said Deschamps.

Zinedine Zidane celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in a past match [Courtesy]

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez on Thursday, June 24 revealed Zidane’s dream is to coach the French national team.

“I fought for him [Zidane] to stay. I haven’t read the farewell letter but I swear by my grandchildren that the one who wrote that letter wasn’t Zidane. But I wish him well; he’s been a legend for Real Madrid and has the respect of all of us. His dream is to be the coach of France and he’ll surely achieve it,” Perez told Onda Cero.

Will the French Football Federation protect Deschamps or decide to start a fresh journey with Zidane? Time will tell. 

France knocked out by Switzerland in dramatic fashion

Deschamps and N'Golo Kante shakes hands after losing penalty shoot-out [Reuters, Franck Fife]

Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved Kylian Mbappe’s penalty to secure a shootout win after a 3-3 draw after extra time. 

Haris Seferovic gave the Swiss the lead in the 15th minute through a header after Steven Zuber's cross. 

Vladimir Petkovic’s men could have had a second from the penalty spot early in the second half, but Hugo Lloris denied Ricardo Rodriguez.

Karim Benzema scored twice with Paul Pogba adding a third for France strike to put France, putting them 3-1 up with 15 minutes to go.

However, Seferovic scored his second goal in nine minutes to full time, with Mario Gavranovic equalizing in the last minute of the game.

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