France manager Didier Deschamps was left soaked in beer, champagne and sweat after celebrating World Cup glory with his delirious squad – a moment he will cherish alongside the crowning achievement of his playing career.
A 4-2 win over Croatia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium – from which you can read 16 Conclusions – earned Deschamps access to one of football’s most elite clubs, those who have lifted the World Cup as both competitor and coach.
Only Franz Beckenbauer of Germany and Brazil’s Mario Zagallo have managed the same feat, but neither marked the moment with quite the same outpouring or joy.
As he prepared to begin his post-match media conference Deschamps was mobbed by a conga line of players chanting his name and dousing him with whatever drink came to hand.
He was hugged, squeezed, jostled and cajoled by the young, diverse and talented team he has led to the summit of the sport and he did not attempt to stop them for a moment.
“They are a little crazy, they have always been a little mad,” he said with the broadest of smiles.
“They are young and they are happy.”
At 49 Deschamps cannot claim to be young, but he could hardly conceal his happiness.
“I don’t really like to talk about myself but I am forced to a little bit. I had the immense pleasure and privilege to live through this as a player 20 years ago. It is marked in my memory forever,” he said.
“But what the players did today is just as beautiful and just as strong. I have a son who is 22 and he was too young when we were world champion, now young people are living through this.
“At the moment my players don’t really know what it is to be world champions but I told them two things.
“That these 23 players are linked forever: they may follow different paths but they are marked together by this event. And that they are going to be different now. They are not the same, they are world champions.
“Maybe they will win other titles but there is nothing above world champions.”