Zidane shows bleus the way
New France coach Laurent Blanc has told his players they must rediscover the values that once made them a proud and respected outfit as they prepare to begin their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign against Belarus at the Stade de France tomorrow.
Zinedine Zidane attended training yesterday and in the inspiration behind France's 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs, Blanc could hardly have found a more potent symbol of the qualities he is looking for.
"The France team is not as essential to the players as it used to be and that has to change, otherwise there will always be problems," Blanc said.
"To be able to exchange with players of another generation can only help," he added. "They can explain that despite having had an extraordinary career at club level, the thing that changed their lives was to play for France. That's a spirit the young players need to recapture."
Blanc picked none of the World Cup squad for the 2-1 friendly defeat by Norway last month, but has now welcomed back nine players who were in South Africa -- where France boycotted a training session in support of Nicolas Anelka after the striker was sent home for insulting Domenech.
"We tried to come up with a mixture of talented youngsters and more experienced players who can guide them," Blanc said