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France - Didier Deschamps

The French national team manager Didier Deschamps was born in Bayonne in 1968. Following his remarkable success with the French national team he is considered one of the finest managers in the international game.

Before making the move into management, Deschamps was a highly esteemed and well-regarded player for a number of the biggest and best clubs in Europe. A defensive-midfielder by trade, Deschamp's has taken what he learned during his playing days and applied them to management. His ability to read the game and physicality are two aspects of his life as a footballer which translate very well into his life as a manager.

He began his footballing education with Bayonne, his local club, in 1976 at the tender age of eight. After seven years in their setup, he moved to Nantes where he would be handed his first professional contract and make his first tentative steps into the cut-and-thrust of French top-flight football. He made over a century of appearances for Nantes, scoring four times and carving out a name for himself as one of the best young players in the division.

At the age of 21, he switched to fellow French side Marseille. In his first full season with the club, Deschamps was loaned out to Bordeaux where he would enjoy a solid season, making 29 appearances and scoring three goals. Following this period, he would stay with the Southern France club for another three seasons. During this time he would win his first honours as a player: Division 1 in 1990 and 1992 and, most impressively, the Champions League in 1993. These would prove the first of the 18 honours he won in his career.

During this time, Deschamps was begging to establish himself as one of the most important players for the French national team, too. His exploits earned him a move to Italian giants Juventus. The Old Lady would prove to be the club for which Deschamps played the most football throughout his career. Over half a decade, he appeared 124 times and score four goals. In terms of trophies, it was by far the most successful stint in the Frenchman's career. He won Serie A three times in five attempts, in the 1994/1995, 1996/1997 and 1997/1998 seasons. This success was made more impressive by the fact that, at the time, Italy was enjoying its domestic footballing heyday.

He added to the league titles with one Coppa Italia in 1994/1995 and two Super Coppa Italiana in 1995 and 1997. Amazingly, he won the Champions League for a second time at the end of the 1995/1996 season and twice finished runner up, once in 1996/1997 and once in 1997/1998

After five glorious years with Juventus, Deschamps decided to move on. England was his preferred destination as he moved to Chelsea. He made 27 appearances for the blues in his one and only season with the club - during this time he also won the FA Cup.

He then moved to Spain for his final season as a player. With Valencia, he made 13 appearances and finished runner-up in the Champions League. Had Valencia won the European competition, Deschamps would have become only the second player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs.

With France, Deschamps has been a revelation. He has lead the side to back to back tournament finals in the 2016 European Championships and the 2018 World Cup. In the latter of these, of course, France were victorious, winning the cup for only the second time in their history.