Zinedine Zidane said that he had not returned to the international to help France win the World Cup.

The 33-year-old returned to international duty last August, following his retirement after Euro 2004, to help France qualify for the World Cup finals.

“You know, I did not come back to play the clown,” said the Real Madrid star.

“Now that I am here, it is to go to the end! It is to win,” added Zidane, who scored twice in the 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final.

“Yes, we are going there (to Germany) to win the World Cup. It is a wonderful and magnificent journey, that is to say and even to repeat it: we can win.

“If one does not appreciate that playing in a World Cup is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a footballer, then one might as well stop playing the game!

“I feel that deep down within me… and I know that if we all feel the same way, with the same intensity, we can go all the way,” said the France captain.

”I will be a 34-year-old in Germany. When you’ve won it once, lost it four years later, to play again in the World Cup is above all an opportunity to win it again.

”When you watch our team, you can see it is a beautiful selection, with good players.

”We just have to wish to be in perfect shape physically, at our best.

”I can’t see any team able to make us worry, except Brazil, of course.

”They are the only formidable team, and they have always been. We can win the World Cup if we show solidarity in the group.

”If all the players are not on the same wavelengths, even if they are the best in the world, you can’t win, it is impossible.

”All together means all together.”

Zidane said a vital part of a successful squad was for each player to be content with role in the squad, even if he is not an automatic first choice.

“Never but never must it be: ‘I am not happy being a replacement’.

“I recall 1998 and the great atmosphere even from substitutes like Alain Boghossian and Vincent Candela and the unambiguously bright attitude of the young ones like David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry.”

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