Widely considered as favorites to win the tournament, Les Bleus couldn’t even get past the first knockout stage.
Didier Deschamps touches on the “hardest thing to digest” from France’s disappointing Euro 2020 campaign while accepting blame for the fiasco.
France began their continental campaign on a high note by beating rivals Germany 1-0. However, things only went downhill from there as they failed to win any of their subsequent group stage games.
The 2018 World Cup winners then collapsed shockingly in the Round of 16 as Switzerland completed a heroic comeback from 3-1 down with nine minutes left to play and forced the match into extra-time and ultimately progressed to the quarter-finals after a penalty shootout.
“The hardest thing to digest – and I am only just doing that now – is knowing what we are capable of doing and seeing what we have done,” Deschamps told L’Equipe.
“And, I’ll say it again, to be 3-1 up in the 80th minute against Switzerland and see what happened afterwards.
“Solidity has always been our DNA. At 3-3, there is inevitably some nervousness but everything remains possible.
“There is the opportunity of [Kingsley] Coman and the ball which hits the bar. You have to be realistic. At 3-1, not a person in the stadium, or elsewhere, will have said we were not going to qualify.
“I don’t want to look for excuses. I know that I am the only one in charge. When everything is going well, all is not rosy, and when things are going badly, all is not black either.
“Our elimination is linked to many elements. It is my responsibility. The initial tactical choice did not work. Making three changes is not a mistake, it is a choice. I know what got me to that point.”