I did not come back to play the clown: Zidane

27th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 27, 2006 (AFP) - French footballing icon Zinedine Zidane said on Monday that he had not returned to the international fold to be made to look a clown but to win the World Cup.

PARIS, Feb 27, 2006 (AFP) - French footballing icon Zinedine Zidane said on Monday that he had not returned to the international fold to be made to look a clown but to win the World Cup.

The 33-year-old returned last August, after initially retiring after Euro 2004, to help France qualify for the World Cup finals but he told L'Equipe that he wanted to taste World Cup glory again just as he did in 1998 with the French.

"You know, I did not come back to play the clown," said the Real Madrid star.

"Now that I am here, it is to go to the end! It is to win," added Zidane, who scored twice in the 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final.

Zidane, who was also an integral part of the Euro 2000 winning side, said there was no point a player turning up at the World Cup just for the sake of it.

"Yes, we are going there (to Germany) to win the World Cup. It is a wonderful and magnificent journey, that is to say and even to repeat it: we can win.

"If one does not appreciate that playing in a World Cup is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a footballer, then one might as well stop playing the game!

"I feel that deep down within me... and I know that if we all feel the same way, with the same intensity, we can go all the way," said the France captain, who is preparing for the friendly with Slovakia on Wednesday.

Zidane said a vital part of a successful squad was for each player to be content with his role.

"Never but never must it be: 'I am not happy being a replacement'.

"I recall 1998 and the great atmosphere even from substitutes like Alain Boghossian and Vincent Candela and the unambiguously bright attitude of the young ones like David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry," said Zidane, who announced recently that he will end his career in June 2007.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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