France’s coach, Didier Deschamps, says players of African descent will be proud to represent the continent when they face Croatia in the World Cup final at the Luzhniki stadium on Sunday.
Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Samuel Umtiti and 11 other members of Les Bleus are of African origin, and Deschamps knows that these players still feel close to their countries of origin.
“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,” he said.
“They are all French and they are all proud to be French, 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.”
France, the 1998 champions, last played in a World Cup final in 2006. They lost to Italy via the penalty shootout.