France coach Didier Deschamps has been successful wherever he's played and coached. His biggest test now is turning the national team back into the force it once was.
An encouraging draw in a World Cup qualifier at world champion Spain was followed by a win at Italy. The spirit showed in those games boosted French hopes that Deschamps has instilled the belief sorely missing in recent years, when the team was haunted by the shadow of it past glories and plagued by off-field problems.
Under Deschamps, France is looking like a competitive, disciplined force again.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Deschamps says ''it's about being competitive. What I say to the players is `Give yourselves the means to go as far as possible.'''