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French unruffled says Zidane as World Cup defence nears

PARIS, Jan 21 (AFP)- France and Real Madrid star Zinedine Zidane says his countrymen are unruffled at the thought of defending their World Cup crown this summer.

"I have no worries about this," said Zidane, who told Tuedsday's edition of Le Monde that he was sure France would arrive in Korea and Japan with a team as strong as at Euro 2000.

As France also won that event the 29-year-old's view is his country is at least Europe's best bet for another title, despite three friendly defeats in recent months.

"That doesn't matter. Better that that should happen before the finals," said the Real Madrid midfielder, who hopes to pick up a Champions League medal before heading for Asia.

The accumulation of big games does not faze Zidane, scorer of two goals in the 1998 World Cup final win over Brazil.

"In 1998, I only had four days to recuperate (from the league season). Same thing for Euro 2000. And both times things went off pretty well didn't they," he asked rhetorically.

With Real looking to land Arsenal's Patrick Vieira Zidane to add another French star to their massed ranks Zidane said there was no kind of rivalry between the big names.

"Everyone is aware of their own capabilities be it Raul, Figo or myself. We complement one another well."

And if Vieira also came to Madrid "who wouldn't like playing alongside him?"

Zidane said he was enjoying life immensely at Real after last year's record transfer from Juventus.

"I take care over my lifestyle, I don't go out on the town, I go to bed early. I take siestas, I watch what I eat," he said, adding that he hope Real would be his last club until he retired in about four year's time.

Source: Daily Soccer

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