Sagnol: "Zidane the difference"

French defender Willy Sagnol believes team mate Zinedine Zidane will be the difference between the two sides in the World Cup final on Sunday.

    French defender Willy Sagnol

    "Italy's best player is the team itself because it's such a strong block which will cause us problems," the Bayern Munich player told reporters.
      
    "But I think Zinedine Zidane can tip the balance - and we have Zidane and they don't.
      
    "He's got all the qualities of a natural leader, and along with Lilian (Thuram) and Fabian (Barthez) it's very enjoyable to follow in their footsteps.
      
    "We want to see them finish in the best possible way, we want them to finish on a high as that means it's not bad for the others either," the 29 year old added.

    Sagnol said that he and his team were still coming to terms with making the final.

    "We know we're in the final but we can't appreciate its significance as we're too concentrated on the game and focused on our play and weighing up Italy's strengths and weaknesses.
      
    "It'll only be later that we can reflect back on what's happened, which is regrettable."

    The European Champions League winner believed the key to their current success has been the strong bond amongst the team.
     

    Willy Sagnol (r) embraces Fabian
    Barthez after their semi-final win

    "Since we came together on May 21 we've done everything together, there are no cliques or break away groups. We've stuck together through the difficult times, like in the early matches, and the good moments.

    "That's helped us become stronger as a team and we're able to translate that feeling of unity onto the pitch.

    "After our first two draws, things weren't perfect but we all talked about it, everyone had different ideas of how we saw the situation and things improved.
      
    "As you can see from our last three games, we've found the key to the solution of our problems.
      
    "We've found a good formula and now it's up to us to continue with it for another 90 minutes."

    He also paid tribute to coach Raymond Domenech whose previously vocal critics have gone strangely silent.

    "We've been lucky to have a coach that has had confidence in us, a coach that gave us the keys to do a good World Cup and that's what we're in the process of doing.
      
    "He enabled us to fully express our talent and to reach our goal.
      
    "I sincerely hope that we win on Sunday so that players like Zidane get the reward they deserve."

    France will play Italy in the World Cup final in Berlin on Sunday.

    SOURCE: AFP


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