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Monday, 3 July, 2000, 22:42 GMT 23:42 UK
Lemerre's plea to Deschamps
Didier Deschamps
Deschamps wanted to wave goodbye
French captain Didier Deschamps was persuaded not to announce his international retirement immediately after the Euro 2000 final by coach Roger Lemerre.

Deschamps and Lemerre were filmed having a long and animated conversation in the middle of the pitch at Rotterdam's De Kuip Stadium just after the presentation of the trophy.

French TV channel LCI employed a lip-reader to decipher the conversation.

The lip-reader said that Lemerre told Deschamps not to make his planned announcement after the match and instead begged him to take time to reflect.

A team needs a great general

Roger Lemerre
French coach

Deschamps has apparently heeded the advice - he has not yet made any pronouncement on his future.

Later at the post-match press conference Lemerre made a public plea for his captain not to follow defender Laurent Blanc into retirement.

Lemerre said later: "A team needs a great general. Deschamps was a great general on Sunday evening and I hope he will stay on for a long time."

It was indeed an impressive performance by Deschamps, who is the most-capped French footballer in history.

Roger Lemerre
Lemerre wants Deschamps to play on
As well as a Euro 2000 medal, he skippered the World Cup-winning side and has won the European Cup with both Marseille and Juventus.

He has also won a galaxy of domestic titles with Marseille and Juventus and in May added an English FA Cup winner's medal with Chelsea.

In the semi-final with Portugal he became the first Frenchman to win 100 caps.

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See also:

03 Jul 00 | France
French passion fits final
03 Jul 00 | England
England next for champions France
02 Jul 00 | Euro2000
France win Euro 2000
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