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French legend Zinedine Zidane trained with the national team as coach Laurent Blanc's men prepared to take on Belarus and Bosnia-Herzegovina in their first European Championship qualification fixture. Blanc called in the football legend to try and boost morale as the disgraced squad look to start anew after the World Cup.
After the painful early exit and strike by French players at the World Cup, Zinedine Zidane's presence in the squad was about reminding players why they play for France. It was also hoped that his character could inspiring them to World Cup and European Championship victory. The tempestuous midfielder says he wants the current crop to rediscover the winning feeling.
Zinedine Zidane said, "I was simply there to spend some time with them and tell them how I felt when I played with the French Football Team. I told them it was through victory that something could be built."
In the first home game since South Africa, the French public are unlikely to be so forgetful, but Arsenal defender Gael Clichy hopes a victory against Belarus will go someway to regaining their trust.
Gael Clichy, French defender said, "If we could win the match against Belarus with two or three goals, everything would be forgotten and that's what people want in the end. We really want to show people what happened in South Africa is in past and the French Football team can be a great team once again."
France's injury concerns could worsen after striker Karim Benzema's training session was cut short after receiving a knock on his right ankle. Striker Guillaume Hoarau admits it's an injury stricken side.
Guillaume Hoarau, French Striker, "We are in a period of re-building the team with new players like me, and will be put to the test right away."
England's bid to win a place at Euro 2012 begins with a qualifying match against Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium.
With several established names now absent through injury, coach Fabio Capello may call on some of his youngsters for the games.
Midfielder Gareth Barry says he believes positive results in the first two qualifying games, against Bulgaria and Switzerland, will be crucial to England's hopes of participating in Poland and Ukraine in 2012.
|Zinedine Zidane trained with the national team.|