Deschamps: Pain of Euro 2016 defeat inspired France

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Two years after a sobering loss to Portugal, Les Bleus claimed their second World Cup with a 4-2 victory over Croatia

Didier Deschamps says the pain of losing the Euro 2016 final inspired France to a thrilling World Cup triumph over Croatia on Sunday.

Les Bleus fell to a crushing 1-0 loss to Portugal on home soil two years ago but bounced back in style at Russia 2018 - a campaign that ended with a 4-2 win over Croatia to seal their second World Cup.

Deschamps - who becomes the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach - believes the lessons learned from that night in Paris are what allowed them to claim football's biggest prize at the Luzhniki Stadium.

"Two years ago it was so, so painful to let that opportunity pass," he told a news conference.

"But maybe if we had become European champions, we would not be world champions today.

"We learned a lot from that final. We lowered the importance of today's match because we had given too much emphasis to that match.

"The European final was different, we tried to stay relaxed this time. The players knew why they were here. I'm proud of them and myself."

Antoine Griezmann's free-kick was headed into his own net by Mario Mandzukic to give France the lead in Moscow before the Atletico Madrid striker scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 following a contentious handball decision.

Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe added further goals after the break and while Hugo Lloris' error gifted Mandzukic a chance to cut the deficit, France held on win 4-2 in Moscow.

Deschamps was quick to praise his side's mental fortitude after the game, highlighting the efforts he has made to foster a strong team spirit.

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"One of the main tasks of a manager is psychology," he added.

"You need to have discussions and make sure you guide players towards the collective spirit. It can't be done overnight.

"To reach that, the most important choice is made when you choose 23 players - you need to be able to choose the men to build up a group that can go as far as possible - the players proved me right."

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