Didier Deschamps has revealed that although the players in his squad who are of African origin are proudly French, they also take pride in being representatives for their families’ countries.
Africa did not have a representative in the knockout stages of this year’s World Cup after Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt were all eliminated during the group stage.
Les Bleus have won hearts on the continent due to their large contingent of African players and a video circulating on social media of several of their players singing and dancing.
14 members of Didier Deschamps’ squad are of African origin, and the coach has acknowledged that France will not be the only country celebrating should they beat Croatia in Sunday’s World Cup final.
“It has always been the case that the French team has always had players from Africa and from other countries and territories, and not just in football but in other sports,” Deschamps told journalists at Saturday’s pre-match press conference.
“They are all French and they are all proud to be French,” he continued, “but through their origins, through their childhood, they have friends, they have families in these countries so they have a certain attachment to these countries and a certain pride that these people will see them play in a World Cup Final.”
The match at the Luzhniki Stadium is set to kick off at 15h00 GMT. Croatia are chasing their first ever World Cup title and France their first since 1998.