France coach Didier Deschamps on Tuesday sought to temper growing expectations generated by his team's impressive run to the FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals. Les Bleus defeated Nigeria 2-0 in Monday's Round of 16 game in Brasilia to set up a quarter-final meeting with Germany on Friday.
The skipper of the 1998 World Cup-winning side was keeping his feet firmly on the ground back at his squad's Brazil headquarters in Ribeirao Preto on Tuesday.
"I'm a realist, my target, like my players, is Friday," he said the day after goals from Paul Pogba and an own goal from Joseph Yobo beat Nigeria. Deschamps, 45, added: "It doesn't serve any purpose to look any further ahead. The reality now is Germany on Friday. Everyone can dream, including me, but I'm a pragmatist and a realist, Friday is the only thing that counts."
Deschamps, who succeeded fellow World Cup and Euro 2000 winner Laurent Blanc as coach after Euro 2012, rejected the notion that France were favourites against Germany, but at the same time made clear his team were not going to the Maracana "as tourists".
Everyone can dream, including me, but I'm a pragmatist and a realist, Friday is the only thing that counts
"We're going there to give it everything we've got." Reflecting on France's progress through to the last eight after topping their first round group he stated: "We haven't made a mess of our World Cup.
"I'm very proud and the players deserve it, it's a huge pleasure for me and my staff to be involved on a daily basis with them and to manage them, to be with them. But we're not going there as tourists on Friday."