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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
French media shows no mercy
Zinedine Zidane
The French press has labelled the country's exit from Euro 2004 at the hands of Greece as "pitiful".

The defending champions were beaten 1-0 in Friday's quarter-final and the French media has savaged the team.

Newspaper Le Parisien said "it is a severe failure which will necessitate hard questioning".

And Sports paper L'Equipe described the team's display as "indefensible", adding: "Les Bleus are stark naked, they showed no desire, no ideas".

Three-time world footballer of the year Zinedine Zidane bore the brunt of L'Equipe's anger.

The paper gave Zidane, who is tipped to retire from international football, just four out of 10 for his display.

"He was practically useless during the first half. Can Zizou quit the national team after such a lacklustre performance?," the paper asked.

Maybe, it's time to wipe the slate clean

Le Parisien predicted "France's failure means the end for the golden generation which won the 1998 World Cup in 1998 and the European championship in 2000".

Le Monde, the quality daily which unusually let sport onto its front page, wrote that France were "dominated from the first minutes of the match".

"Penetrable in defence and disorganised in attack, France leave this tournament quite rightly," it added.

The front page of the Nice Matin screamed: "Dismaying!", while also asking "is this really a surprise?"

"The team is no more than a shadow of its former self," it continued.

By contrast, the Greek press was understandably ecstatic after the national team produced one of the greatest shocks in football.

The headline in Tea Nea newspaper said: "Oh la la, the great Greece!", while "Vive la Grece!" was Eleftherotypia's response to the victory.

Other headlines were "The Greece of 1-0, The Greece of miracles," and "A country, a team, a dream".

But Eleftheros Typos correctly pointed out "No, it's not a dream," and said Angelos Charisteas' golden goal had "led to national euphoria".

And sports daily Filathlos confidently stated: "Otto Rehhagel's team which brought France to their knees can bring home the trophy".

Links to more France stories



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