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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 22:19 GMT 23:19 UK
Zidane blames tough year
Zidane had to face the fans when he arrived back from the World Cup
Zidane had to face the fans when he arrived back
Zinedine Zidane has blamed the physical demands of the domestic football season for France's early demise in the World Cup.

"I think that we lacked confidence and were not physically fresh," he told Spanish sports daily Marca.

"You have to take into account the wear and tear the players have been subjected to in a very tough season.

"We also lacked that little bit of luck at crucial times in the games."

Open Quote
I am really disappointed and hurt because I never imagined we would be knocked out of the World Cup in the first phase
Close Quote
Zinedine Zidane
Zidane also revealed he was planning to retire from the international game after the European championships in Portugal in 2004.

"My aim is to do the European championships and then stop. But we'll see," he said.

Zidane believes France should start afresh in rebuilding the squad.

He said: "Many of the players who were here may not be at another World Cup.

"It is very hard to suffer our first serious setback after four years in which we have won everything possible.

"I am really disappointed and hurt because I never imagined we would be knocked out of the World Cup in the first phase.

"Now we need to put it behind us and try to understand why it happened, but over-dramatising the situation won't help."


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GROUP A
  P GD PTS
DENMARK 3 +3 7
SENEGAL 3 +1 5
URUGUAY 3 -1 2
FRANCE 3 -3 1

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