x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

France relives spirit of 1998

France celebrated the 10th anniversary of their World Cup triumph with a game between their former heroes and an international eleven.

David Trezeguet, left, congratulates his teammate Zinedine Zidane after he scored during the exhibition match between France's 1998 World Cup Champions and a Rest of the World All Star XI.
David Trezeguet, left, congratulates his teammate Zinedine Zidane after he scored during the exhibition match between France's 1998 World Cup Champions and a Rest of the World All Star XI.

PARIS // France, reeling from the shock of an early Euro 2008 exit, celebrated the 10th anniversary of their World Cup triumph with a commemorative game between their former heroes and an international selection. Ten years to the day after France stunned Brazil 3-0 to lift the World Cup for the first time, a packed Stade de France once again saluted the players who had conquered the world. Zinedine Zidane and guests drew 3-3 with an international team guided by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and featuring greats like Zvonimir Boban, Edgar Davids and Gianfranco Zola.

Emilio Butragueno, the oldest player on the pitch at 45, scored the opener for the international side in the first half. The playmaker Zidane, who scored two first-half headers against Brazil in 1998, equalised in the second half before Pauleta volleyed home to put the visitors 2-1 ahead. Ludovic Giuly, not part of the winning '98 team, got France level again before late goals from Davor Suker for Wenger's side and Bernard Diomede for the French left the game all square.

"Ten years ago, we were full of hope. Today, we are full of happiness," said World Cup-winning coach Aime Jacque. The France team was complete except for Emmanuel Petit, who scored the third goal in the dying moments of the final. Patrick Vieira, who played for the last 15 minutes against Brazil, and forward Thierry Henry, who stayed on the bench, were also missing. * Reuters