Jacques Santini has apppointed Zinedine Zidane to lead France in the EURO 2004 qualifier against Malta on Saturday.

Zidane replaces Marcel Desailly, France’s usual captain, who has not been picked for the game.

Zidane,has played 80 times for France and has captained his side three times before, the last time in the friendly match against Tunisiain August.

“Zidane has great influence on and off the pitch and is the right guy for the job in the absence of Desailly,” saidSantini.