RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps has never lost a World Cup match, and his experience tells him that winning Friday's quarterfinal against Germany will come down to guts.
Deschamps captained France to its only World Cup title in 1998, when the side was unbeaten, and he was again captain two years later when it won the European Championship.
His first World Cup campaign as coach is also proving fruitful, with France winning three and drawing one of its four games so far, although Les Bleus needed late goals to beat Nigeria 2-0 in Monday's second-round match. France's group — containing Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras — was not among the strongest in the competition and Germany will be favorites at the Maracana.
"Football ability is one thing, but it's your mentality and what you have in your stomach that allows you to turn a situation around and get a result," Deschamps said on Tuesday.
"I hate (defeat) and I always will hate it. The players need to feel that way and they do. It's not an exact science, but you need to dig deep inside of yourself, never give up and keep going."
France was in disarray at the last World Cup four years ago, where it went on strike and went out without winning a game. The team almost did not qualify for this tournament after losing 2-0 in the first leg of its playoff against Ukraine last November.
After that bitterly cold night in Kiev, few observers would have banked on France getting this far. But since then, it is unbeaten in nine games, has kept seven clean sheets and scored 28 goals.
"I'm very proud of what the team has done," Deschamps said. "We haven't failed our World Cup, that's for sure. But we're not going into Friday's match as tourists. If we go into it all relaxed then we'll get a shock."
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