Roma defender, Vincent Candela has highlighted Zinedine Zidane’s absence as the main factor in France’s embarrassing first round World Cup exit.

Candela claims that Zidane’s mere presence on the pitch could have inspired team which performed so dismally in Korea/Japan.

‘It accounted for almost 50 per cent of the failure,’ he said.

“When he is on the field theopponent loses 30 percent and his team-mates gain 30 percent in confidence,” Candela claimed.

The Real Madrid playmaker broke down in training with a hamstring injury, just before the World Cup and only played in France’s final game. Even then, he was heavily bandaged and looked nowhere near full fitness.

The absence of talented Arsenal midfielder, Robert Pires and injury worries over Thierry Henry, also played a part in the teams exit, Candela acknowledged.

‘The absence of Pires and Henry. All this together is too much,’ Candela added. ‘I believe that we had physical deficiencies, and mentally we missed something.”