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Thursday August 11, 2005 12:34 by Jedi master
A humourous piece about Zidanes return to football
Hope the Republic feck 'em up good.
Wednesday August 10, 2005
Mysterious voice inspired me to play again, says French star
PARIS: Zinedine Zidane says a mysterious voice inspired his decision to play for France again.
“One night, at three in the morning, I woke up suddenly and then, I talked to someone,” Zidane said in yesterday's French magazine France Football.
“It's a mystery, don't try, you will not find (who that person was),” he added.
“It's somebody you will probably never meet. I can't explain that encounter myself.
“That person really exists but it all comes from very far. And then, during the hours that followed, I took the decision to come back”.
Zidane decided last week to resume playing for France to help them in their struggle to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.
The three-time World Player of the Year, who won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship two years later, had announced his retirement from international football after Euro 2004.
The 33-year-old's comeback decision came as surprise after he had said several times over the past few months that he would not change his mind.
“I was dumbfounded before that force that was guiding my behaviour and I had something of a revelation,” Zidane told France Football.
“I suddenly wanted to go back to the roots, to my debut in professional football, when I was nobody, when nobody knew me and when I could quietly learn my trade and grow up.
“I felt like recapturing all that and an irrepressible force seized me then. I had to obey to that voice that was giving me advice”.
Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram have also decided to play for France again. Along with Zidane, they are expected to play in a friendly against Ivory Coast on Aug 17 in Montpellier and then in two World Cup qualifiers next month.
France have had a poor qualifying campaign so far and sit fourth on 10 points in the European Zone Group Four behind leaders the Republic of Ireland (13), Switzerland (12) and third-placed Israel who have 11 points.
Raymond Domenech's Les Bleus have four matches to redress their poor start, beginning with the visit of the Faroe Islands on Sept 3.
Four days later they travel to face Ireland, and a month later travel to Switzerland before winding their qualifying campaign up at home against Cyprus. – Agencies