'I came back to win World Cup, not be a clown' | india | Hindustan Times
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'I came back to win World Cup, not be a clown'

The French playmaker said he had not returned to the international fold to be made look a clown but to win the World Cup.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 17:50 IST

French footballing icon Zinedine Zidane on Monday said he had not returned to the international fold to be made look a clown but to win the World Cup.

The 33-year-old returned last August, after initially retiring after Euro 2004, to help France qualify for the World Cup finals but he told L'Equipe that he wanted to taste World Cup glory again just as he did in 1998 with the French.

"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.

Zidane, who was also an integral part of the Euro 2000 winning side, said there was no point a player turning up at the World Cup just for the sake of it.

"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, who is preparing for the friendly with Slovakia on Wednesday.

Zidane said a vital part of a successful squad was for each player to be content with his role. "Never but never must it be: 'I am not happy being a replacement'.