national team could play very attractive football, beautiful football, and win. Instead they draw. They hadn’t scored for 20 minutes and when they lost, nobody cried. When France lost to Germany at the World Cup in Spain in 1982, everybody cried. I cried. But this time, nobody cared. This time, nobody talked about their games. Nobody spoke about the French national team. That’s a bad thing for people, for the young – they have nothing to dream about. If I were a young child and I saw a game like that, the one against the Czechs, I wouldn’t want to play football. I’d want to be a gymnast or a cyclist but not a footballer. Games like that do nothing to inspire young people. Nothing.
Can Manchester United make you dream?
Yes. A lot of teams can. England did in Euro ’96. Everybody spoke about the English. Those semi-finals – France v Czech Republic and England v Germany – they weren’t in the same class.
Who did you support?
I supported England, of course. I was very sad when they lost. I supported England because I’ve got some conviction about football. I’ve listened to critics of English football and I wanted the team to prove them wrong, and I think they did. I was very sad because they were the best team and they were just unlucky. They played such attractive football and the supporters were great as well. I’ve told people about the game here but they had to come over to see it before they believed it. After you’ve come to England to see a game, you can’t go anywhere else.
Can Manchester United do it next season in Europe?
Yep. Of course.