Deschamps praises ‘exceptional’ France

France manager Didier Deschamps praised the character of his players after their 1-0 win over Belgium in the World Cup semi-final in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

Samuel Umtiti’s 51st-minute winner sends the French into the final, where they will play either England or Croatia.

Les Bleus are seeking a World Cup win following victory on home soil in 1998.

“It was exceptional,” Deschamps said afterwards. “I’m very happy for my players, we showed character and the right mentality, it was very hard for us tonight. We worked hard defensively.

“We had to take advantage a bit more in the counter attacks. but congratulations to my players and my staff. I feel very proud for my group.”

Deschamps, who captained the 1998 winning team, is bidding to join Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and Mario Zagallo of Brazil as the only men to have won the World Cup as both a player and a manager

Matchwinner Umtiti, meanwhile, said the win was the result of hard work.

“A lot of pride,” said the Barcelona star. “We worked hard. I scored but we delivered a good match and I’m very proud of everyone.

“They worked in ’98 and we worked today, we reached our target to get to the final, I’m very satisfied.”

Fans back home in France also enjoyed the victory.

Looks like England fans aren’t the only one who are going World Cup crazy.

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