“If you’re bored, watch something else,” quips Deschamps as journalist slams ‘boring’ France

Just four teams remain at EURO2024 following last week’s quarterfinals – and France will go head-to-head with Spain in Munich on Tuesday in a desperate bid to reach the European Championship finals once more.

Les Bleus have not held aloft the Henri Delauney Cup since 2000, coming closest eight years ago on home soil but falling to a painful extra-time defeat to Portugal.

Addressing the assembled media on Monday, Didier Deschamps insisted that he’s not here to play pretty football; he only cares about results.

What did Didier Deschamps say?

Didier Deschamps is no stranger to major tournaments, having guided France into every edition of the EUROs and the FIFA World Cup following his appointment in July 2012.

His tenure has largely been a successful one – les Bleus were narrowly beaten in the EURO2016 final on home soil, before enjoying global glory in Russia two years later. EURO2020, postponed by COVID-19, was a relative disappointment for France as they crashed out in the round-of-16, although they finished second at the 2022 FIFA World Cup just eighteen months later.

Deschamps’ men haven’t exactly set the tournament alight this time around. It’s a statement that perhaps looks bizarre at first glance given they’re just one win away from the showpiece finale in Berlin – but they’re yet to score a goal from open play, and things just aren’t clicking for les Bleus.

(Photo by Jasmin Walter – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Quizzed as to whether this French side have become boring to watch, Deschamps rebutted the claims and insisted that their style of play is irrelevant – as long as they’re getting results. “If you get bored, watch something else, it’s not serious. You don’t have to! It’s a special EURO for everyone, with fewer goals than in the past,” he told a Swedish journalist, insisting that “we have the ability to share our emotions and make the French people happy with our results.”

Kylian Mbappé suffered a broken nose in France’s opening match, and the talisman has failed to find form while donning his protective mask. He was withdrawn at half-time of extra-time during the quarterfinal victory over Portugal, but Deschamps insisted that the substitution was nothing to prompt concern.

“He had just played almost 110 minutes. It was already a bit complicated for him in extra time. There’s no point in him staying on the pitch if he’s not feeling good – even if he is Kylian! We focused on recovery, even though the deadline was short. We’ve done everything we can, and I’m convinced that he’s at the top of his game, like all the players,” he told reporters.

What did Adrien Rabiot say?

Didier Deschamps was accompanied by Adrien Rabiot for Monday’s pre-match press conference in Munich, and he was full of praise for a Spanish team that has established itself as the standout team of the tournament thus far.

“We all agree that this is the team that plays the best,” he admitted, recognising that Spain are “a complete team with strengths and weaknesses.”

(Photo by Jasmin Walter – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Rabiot was perhaps less optimistic than Deschamps when speaking on the availability of key individuals, suggesting that “Antoine [Griezmann] and Kylian [Mbappé] are a little less fresh, that’s true – but they’re players who can break the deadlock at any moment.”

“We’ve always put the emphasis on the team in recent competitions and this one too. Even though we’ve got some players on the outside looking in, we’re in the semifinals of a very big tournament. The team is stronger than the individuals.”

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