The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zidane has mixed feelings over captaincy

Palermo (Sicily): Zinedine Zidane enjoys wearing the France captain’s armband but does not like attending the pre-match news conferences.

“Yes I like the captain’s job. But what I like much less is being here in front of you,” the shy midfield playmaker told reporters on Tuesday. Asked if he found it difficult to speak in public, Zidane said: “it’s not that easy. It’s not what I like.”

The soft-spoken Real Madrid player said he has to talk more to his international teammates since being handed the armband last week.

“I have to express myself more than I usually do when I’m with my club or when I’m playing for France,” he said. “But it’s about 10 years I’m professional so I think I can do this.”

Zidane is replacing regular captain Marcel Desailly who has not been picked due to injury problems.

French coach Jacques Santini was not surprised at how Zidane adapted to the captain’s role. “Zidane doesn’t need to have the armband to be a great player,” Santini said. “He never tried to avoid his duties and when he is in such shape, there is not much to say.”

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