Zidane chews over future with French team

5th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, Aug 4 (AFP) - Zinedine Zidane said he needs time to reflect on his international future after meeting new France coach Raymond Domenech here on Wednesday.

MADRID, Aug 4 (AFP) - Zinedine Zidane said he needs time to reflect on his international future after meeting new France coach Raymond Domenech here on Wednesday.

Domenech told the inspirational playmaker and France captain that he wanted him to become "the relay for the young generation" but if Jacques Santini's successor was hoping for a quick response he left the lunch appointment disappointed.

Zidane reported: "I'm going to take a week or two before announcing what my future with the French team will be."

The Real Madrid ace said he felt obliged to tell Domenech his decision by September 4 - the date of France's first 2006 World Cup qualifier against Israel in Paris.

In calling on Zidane to assume the role of marshalling the young troops Domenech insisted he did not want "to put Zidane under any pressure, leaving him to make his own decision".

He said he had found Zidane "ready to listen".

The discussions with the midfielder followed those held Tuesday between Domenech and France veteran defender Bixente Lizarazu.

Zidane meanwhile said he had felt obliged to meet the new France coach.

"Whatever the outcome I had to meet Raymond Domenech," he told his website. "It's the least I could do. I was waiting to speak to him, to explain my reasons and everything I was thinking, all that I had to say.

"He outlined to me his ideas. Now we'll talk over all that again soon."

Whatever his decision Zidane is unlikely to figure in Domenech's plans for the friendly against Bosnia on August 12, saying he did not think he'd be in the line-up.

Fellow influential French players Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram and Bixente Lizarazu have all recently announced their retirement from international football.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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