Deschamps: “Rabiot is happy at Juventus – Theo Hernandez has a different enthusiasm now’


French national team coach Didier Deschamps believes Adrien Rabiot is happy to remain at Juventus, but has options elsewhere. Deschamps was speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport about a number of French players in Serie A, and touched on Rabiot’s renewal situation, and the market interest in Theo Hernandez:

Including Italy, the reigning champions without great champions?

“It’s a harsh judgment. Italy won the European Championship with the strength of their collective. Maybe in the past, there were at least a couple of superstars, but you have excellent players and some promising young talents. Despite missing out on the last two World Cup qualifications, Italy remains very competitive.”

Rabiot better off staying with Juventus?

“I know he is happy in Turin, where he stayed last year without Champions League football, which he could play in next season. We talk about it sometimes, but the decision is up to him. He is free and has many options.”

For Giroud, will this be his last European Championship? Is Marcus Thuram his heir?

“Marcus had a great season with Inter, improving in effectiveness and in sync with Lautaro Martinez. Marcus can play anywhere in the attack. He doesn’t have the same characteristics as Olivier, but he can be his heir. And even if this is Giroud’s last European Championship, it’s important to rely on his experience.”

Do you consider Pavard a true center-back or more of a full-back?

“I know he prefers to play as a center-back, even though he evolves in a different system with Inter, as Inzaghi also asks him to push forward a lot. It’s evident that today he feels more comfortable as a center-back than in the past.”

Has Maignan been destabilized by the racist insults in Udine?

“These things shouldn’t happen anymore. That incident hurt him; it wasn’t the first time. The mental factor can have physical repercussions, but he had an extraordinary season the year before, so there’s no need to worry, even though he hasn’t been as well recently due to a few minor injuries.”

Is it better for Theo Hernandez to restart elsewhere?

“We talked about it in March. In general, there isn’t the same enthusiasm as during the Scudetto-winning season, but he seemed happy at Milan, where he also captained the team as a foreigner. However, organizing a tour in Australia in the middle of the national team’s training camp is not very nice.”

There are high expectations for Mbappé, who plays on the left for the national team and up front for PSG.

“He is used to the pressure, and I see him doing well. He had a delicate period with the club but scored 44 goals. On the field, he will have maximum freedom. My goal is to field a team that allows him to perform at his best. As captain, Mbappé is totally dedicated to the collective, even though he can make a difference on his own like all superstars.”

How do you manage to last so long, and if you win the European Championship, will you return to coaching a club?

“To last, you need results. Winning a European Championship doesn’t stop you from wanting to win another. I have no lessons to give; I always tell myself that I know that I don’t know. I will stop when I no longer have the same passion and motivation. I have a contract until 2026, I focus on the present, and I am fortunate to be able to choose.”

How has football changed in these 12 years?

“VAR has changed a lot; it lends itself to controversies and interpretations but establishes offside with certainty. Football today is more intense and played more. Next year, a player could play up to 92 matches. Tactically, there is more high pressing, roles are less fixed, and play is built from the back, although I haven’t yet seen a goal starting from the six-yard box. Many goals come from mistakes. But you don’t win with just goals; you also need to defend and maintain balance.”

Will it be the last European Championship for Ronaldo, Modric, Kroos, Giroud?

“They have made history with their titles and performances. But today, it is easier to play longer with improved preparation and medical aspects. However, there are many other players, even younger ones, who don’t know that this will be their last European Championship.”

Young players like Zaire-Emery, Barcola, or Camavinga change the game for France?

“In general, and in France in particular, young players play more. Perhaps less so in Italy, where it is more difficult to find space. We now do pre-training with professional criteria from the age of 12, so young players are ready earlier.”

What do you think about the Pogba case?

“I am saddened. We talk often. He has gone through a tough period. I would have taken him to the World Cup if he hadn’t been injured. Knowing him, I can’t believe he doped voluntarily. There is a positive test; we await the appeal from TAS. I wish him to return to the field; he has the mental strength to do it.”


Serie A obsessive.