France coach Didier Deschamps says his side wasted a ‘great chance’ to claim a third European Championship title following their 1-0 defeat against Portugal on Sunday.
Despite losing captain Cristiano Ronaldo in the 25th minute due to a knee injury, Portugal prevailed at the Stade de France in Paris to clinch their first major trophy.
The 47-year-old French coach says his side were not clinical enough in attack after wasting a number of chances in front of goal.
Despite the disappointment, Deschamps commended the Portuguese side for the victory over the host.
‘We threw away a great chance to be European champions. Of course, the overriding emotion is a huge disappointment. It’s cruel to lose the final like that. I have to congratulate Portugal,’ Deschamps said.
‘Clearly, we had our opportunities and we weren’t clinical enough. We weren’t cool-headed enough, but I can’t hold anything against my players. They gave everything tonight. I don’t think we played with the brakes on by any means.’
The former Marseille manager went on to say that his side will take positive feedback away from this experience but remains disappointed not to have lifted the trophy on home soil.
‘We’d have loved to win this trophy for the fans. There are positives, but it’s hard to see them at the moment,’ he added.
‘Everything we’ve experienced over the past few weeks and months has been positive so I’m just disappointed we couldn’t win this trophy for the millions of fans.
‘I’m not going to think about myself tonight. I’ll need some time to digest this, just like the players.’
PHOTO: Reuters/Charles Platiau