France manager Jacques Santini said winning the Confederations Cup did nothing to quell the "sour taste" left by Marc-Vivien Foe's death.
France's 1-0 victory over Cameroon in the final was overshadowed
by the tragic death of Foe in Thursday's semi-final against Columbia.
And Santini, who coached Foe at Olympique Lyon before becoming France boss, felt his loss deeply.
"This victory is a reward for the players and staff for
three weeks of dedication but it has a sour taste when you know
the circumstances in which it was won," he said.
"In moments like this, a handshake, a look speak louder than
words. We know that a family has been deeply hurt and that
someone dear to us has gone."
I see a very, very positive future
Cameroon coach Winfried Schaefer
Cameroon coach Winfried Schaefer said: "My team really did well to play the way it did.
"It's not only a loss for the team, for football, but a loss
for all of Cameroon.
"It was a wonderful day of soccer, but also a very sad
day. It was important for us to play for the whole of
Africa and for Foe. He wasn't just a great player, he was a
"In the 35 years that I have been involved in professional
football I have never met a man like Foe."
After the whistle, France captain Marcel Desailly urged his Cameroon opposite number Rigobert Song to join him on the rostrum to share the victory, earned with a 97th-minute extra-time golden
goal scored by Thierry Henry.
The Cameroon players deserved this trophy as much as we
France boss Jacques Santini
"With all the dedication and the human aspect of what we've
been through these last few days, it was not obvious to go all
the way through this final," said Santini.
"The Cameroon players deserved this trophy as much as we
did, but in an international game you need a winner and a
Schaefer was upbeat for the future and said the pain of the last few days was made easier by Song, who grew up with Foe
in Yaounde and had been a tower of strength.
"Last Thursday and Friday I myself was in need of support
and on both occasions Song assembled the squad for meetings with
them and spoke to the team, it was extraordinary," he said. "I see a very, very positive future."
Santini was pleased France were able to win without stars such as Zinedine Zidane or Patrick Vieira.
He insisted the win had boosted France's hopes of defending their European title in Portugal in 2004 after a dismal showing at last year's World Cup.
"We had to learn how to win without some key players and it
will give young players more confidence, while older ones will
start trusting the young ones for the crucial games to come in the autumn, but above all in Portugal," he said.