The France manager was always a leader and a rigorous thinker about the game as a player. Now he can make history
It feels as if I have known Didier Deschamps all my life. We played together at FC Nantes as kids in their academy and we shared a room then and continued to do so as we both climbed the international ladder in the French junior sides – he was my captain when we played in the European Championship for the under-14s, and then when we were with the U15s, the U17s and the U21s.
We both ended up moving to Marseille and we won the Champions League there together – to this day the only success in Europe’s most prestigious competition for a French club. We moved to Italy, I with Milan and Didier with Juventus and we ended up playing together again in England, of course. I admit I was a bit involved in his transfer to Chelsea and we won the FA Cup together in 2000 along with George Weah, of course. I had spoken to Colin Hutchinson, then the director of football, about both of them.