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banner Saturday, 9 June, 2001, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Deschamps hangs up his boots
Didier Deschamps (c) will join Monaco on Monday
Deschamps (c) officially joins Monaco on Monday
France's World Cup winning captain Didier Deschamps has called time on the most successful playing careers in French football history.

The 32-year-old has quit as a player to take over as coach at Monaco.

He said his lacklustre season with Valencia had led him to the decision.

"I always said that the day when I don't feel like it any more, I would stop," he said.

"That day has come. It's pointless continuing for the sake of it.

"My season with Valencia was very difficult. I came full of hopes and it did not work out the way I expected," he said.

Succeeds Puel

"I just had a very bad year during which I was injured often. I could feel that my body was suffering, that I was reaching the limit," he added.

Deschamps said he would have given up even if he had not been approached by Monaco and added that Valencia officials had accepted his decision.

The Frenchman was under contract with the Spanish team for two more seasons.

Claude Puel was sacked as Monaco coach on Saturday.

He led the principality side to the First Division title in 2000, but they disappointed last season and failed to qualify for Europe.

Olympique Marseille midfielder Lucas Bernardi is expected to be Deschamps first signing at Monaco.

Awesome career

With 103 call-ups, Deschamps is the most capped French player.

He was France's captain 56 times, six times more than Michel Platin, and won more titles than any of his compatriots.

He won the World Cup with France in 1998, the European Championship in 2000 and also won the European Cup with both Marseille and Juventus.

Born in the Basque town of Bayonne, he played for Nantes, Marseille, Girondins Bordeaux, Juventus and Chelsea before joining Valencia in 2000.

But he failed to secure a first-team place with the Spanish club and played just 20 times in all competitions for them last season.

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