Euro 2016: Germany best team in the world, but we have to believe, says France coach Didier Deschamps - Firstpost
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Euro 2016: Germany best team in the world, but we have to believe, says France coach Didier Deschamps

Marseille, France: France coach Didier Deschamps has called on Les Bleus to end their 58-year wait to beat Germany in a major tournament and book their spot in the Euro 2016 final.

"We can't change past history, but we've got our own page to write," Deschamps said in Marseille on Wednesday.

"It's the players who have to write this page because for the moment it's blank. We're facing the best team in the world, but the lads have to believe and we want the fans to believe in us too."

France play Germany on Thursday seeking their first win over Die Mannschaft at a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden when Les Bleus won 6-3.

France coach Didier Deschamps. AFP

France coach Didier Deschamps. AFP

They will play the winners of Wednesday's match between Portugal and Wales in Sunday's Stade de France final.

A glance at the history books, however, suggests France face an uphill task.

World Cup holders Germany, who booked their place in the last four in a dramatic, 18-kick penalty shootout with Italy, have beaten France three times since 1958 in World Cup matches.

And their 6-5 penalty shootout win over Italy in Bordeaux was the first time German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had conceded a goal in regulation time.

Despite missing key players with injury and suspension, and with striker Thomas Mueller yet to find the net, Germany are in confident mood.

History, after all, is on their side.

Germany beat France in the last eight on their way to World Cup triumph in 2014, in the semi-final of the 1986 World Cup and also four years earlier in the 1982 World Cup semi-final the Germans won 5-4 in a penalty shootout.

Deschamps says past history won't count: "You can't compare with past gane."

But he admits Neuer will have to be beaten more to get past Joachim Loew's side.

"We need to score goals. This is a team that doesn't concede a lot of goals," said Deschamps, who saw his side book their last four spot with an impressive 5-2 win over England's conquerors Iceland.

"Germany take command of their games and they dominate possession but we can't go into this match thinking we're going to defend then hit on the counter-attack," added Deschamps.

"With all the respect we have for Germany, we have a great chance and we're going to take it with both hands."

A World Cup winner with France in 1998, before lifting the European Championship two years later, Deschamps is in the relatively unique position of contending the title as a coach after winning it as a player.

But he says the success and the joy of his players is paramount.

"It's not every day you get to play a European Championship semi-final but to be totally honest I don't even think about myself," he said.

"I've never worried about my future, that's part of my strength. It's a privilege for me to be the coach of France because it means a lot to me.

"I get a lot from the players' experiences, and I want us to go as far as possible."

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