Zidane marks 100th game

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

Zinedine Zidane's 100th match for France was a winning one on Saturday as Mexico was defeated 1-0 in a World Cup warmup.

Saint-Denis:

Zinedine Zidane's 100th match for France was a winning one on Saturday as Mexico was defeated 1-0 in a World Cup warmup. However, his last international at Stade de France was also one of his least impressive performances in a France shirt. In his preferred role, in central midfield behind two strikers, he gave away the ball seven times before leaving to an ovation in the 50th minute. On top form, Zidane rarely loses it once in a whole game. He looked sluggish, even off the pace, as his body swerves failed to fool Mexico's alert defenders, and his passes lacked range. A patchy season with Real Madrid, where the star-studded team again failed to win a trophy, may well have left him leg weary after niggling injuries. But France coach Raymond Domenech is counting on Zidane to lead France's World Cup campaign, starting on June 13 against Switzerland. "I hope I will be 100 per cent at the top of my form and that the team can go far," Zidane said before the Mexico match, after five days of relaxing in the Alpine resort of Tignes. "I tell myself that this team can do something enormous. My desire is stronger than ever ... 100 times, 1,000 times stronger," he added. "I realise how lucky I am to be playing in the World Cup". However, his showing against Mexico may be cause for concern. It was Zidane's 27th appearance at the national stadium, where his two header goals sealed victory for France over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final, and he is only the fourth player to have worn France's blue jersey 100 times. (AP)

Topics : Football France
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