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Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has been named the new captain of France.

Vieira succeeds Desailly who announced his retirement from international football following France’s exit from Euro 2004 to Greece.

In the wake of the retirement of veterans such as Zinedine Zidane, Bixente Lizarazu and Lilian Thuram, new France coach Raymond Domenech has opted to give the role to the midfielder.

Vieira is relishing the prospect of leading his country.

“I love responsibility,” said Vieira. “So when the coach told me I was going to be captain, of course I accepted.

“Since I was made Arsenal captain it’s given me a lot. It’s helped me make progress and I hope that will also be the case with the France team.

“(Didier) Deschamps was a captain who really got involved in everything, while Marcel on the other hand stepped back a little bit from all that. I see myself as between the two of them.”

Ironically, the new captain will miss the opening fixture of the Domenech regime. Vieira is still recovering from injury, meaning vice-captain Fabien Barthez will lead the side in Wednesday’s friendly with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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