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Football: Deschamps joins super-elite club

Didier Deschamps with the world cup
Didier Deschamps with the world cup REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The super-elite club of footballers who have coached a team to victory in the World Cup gained a new member with France’s victory over Croatia on Sunday. Franz Beckenbauer  welcomed Didier Deschamps to "our club" on Tuesday.

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Beckenbauer was in the winning team of the World Cup as a player with West Germany in 1974 and was Germany manager for its 1990 victory.

He followed Brazilian Mario Zagallo, who won as a player in 1958 and 1962, as a head coach in 1970 and as an assistant in 1994.

Deschamps was a player for France's win in 1998 and, on Sunday, triumphed as a coach when France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow.

"Now we are three," Der Kaiser told German newspaper Bild. "Perhaps we should get together."

Like Beckenbauer, Deschamps captained his country to World Cup victory. That was significant, the German said.

"You'll automatically learn how to lead a team," Beckenbauer said. "That helped me later as a coach"

"Of all the World Cup favourites, only France went through the tournament at a consistent level."

Beckenbauer added that he thinks the club should be bigger.

"It's surprising that in the long World Cup era, going back to 1930, it has happened so little," said the German. "Some have already tried, Maradona for example, but have not succeeded."

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