RIO DE JANEIRO: France coach Didier Deschamps portrayed his team as learners on the grand stages of the international game after their 1-0 World Cup quarter-final defeat by Germany in Maracana writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Deschamps, a World Cup-winning captain of his country in 1998, said: “We were a little timid in the beginning of the game. We had some good chances but we were not efficient enough – [their goalkeeper] Neuer had a good match as well.

“At the end of the game we were exposed and they could have scored a second goal.

“This group of players was born during the play-off return leg against Ukraine last November so we don’t have the experience of a team like Germany but I’m proud of what we’ve achieved both on the pitch and behind the scenes. I know I have a lot of work to do but it’s promising.”

Deschamps said he was not surprised at the German’s changes in persinnel ad tactics and he did not think there was “a huge gap between the teams.” His team had been short of a little essential good fortune around goal.

“Sometimes you need a little luck,” said Deschamps, “but you have to remember that this is the highest level of football there is. There was very little difference between the teams. We had shots that could have led to goals but we were not as efficient and lucky as we could have been.”

Overall, as he prepared to take his leave, Deschamps described the tournament as “a very beautiful World Cup.”

He said: “There has been a lot of pace, emotion, tension, drama. No clearcut matches, no defensive style. A few years ago I remember some very boring World Cup matches. Not this year.”

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