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World player of the year Zinedine Zidane should retire from international football, according to former France coach Michel Hidalgo.

“It is time to inject some fresh blood into the French team,” said Hidalgo, coach of France’s success at the 1984 European Championships.

“Marcel Desailly has already indicated that his international career is over. Players like Zidane should also retire.

“Certainly, I’m not demanding (senior players) go but I think they realize this and will go,” Hidalgo said in Jinan, where he is working as a technical advisor to the Kuwait national team in the Asian Cup. Kuwait were knocked out of the tournament on Tuesday.

“The only problem is finding players who are equally good to replace them.”

Defender Lilian Thuram announced his retirement from the international game on Tuesday, while Desailly quit earlier this month.

Fabien Barthez and Bixente Lizarazu, have admitted they may quit, but it is the fate of talismanic playmaker Zidane which has aroused most interest.

Meanwhile, Zidane, on club duty with Real Madrid in Tokyo, claimed he had yet to decide whether to retire.

“I don’t want to announce my decision right now. But I will need to talk about it soon”, Zidane told AFP in Tokyo Wednesday.

Zidane is expected to meet with the newly-appointed France coach Raymond Domenech next Monday in Madrid, according to the French sports daily L’Equipe.

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