Wed, Nov 21, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Ex-France manager pens tell-all book

Reuters, PARIS

Former France manager Raymond Domenech, who led Les Bleus during their 2010 World Cup fiasco, has branded Franck Ribery a “diva,” Samir Nasri a “symbol of selfishness” and said Nicolas Anelka “killed the group.”

Domenech’s memoirs are titled Tout Seul (“All by Myself”) and are set to be published today. They are based on the diary he kept during his six-year spell as France manager from 2004 to 2010 and in them, Domenech assumes little responsibility for France’s World Cup debacle.

France players refused to take part in training to support Anelka at the World Cup in South Africa after the former Chelsea forward was dismissed from the squad for verbally abusing Domenech at halftime in the 2-0 group stage loss to Mexico.

“He killed the group,” Domenech said of Anelka.

However, the former France manager acknowledges that everything was going wrong long before the incident and said he had been “mistaken” about the players he called up for the tournament, especially Ribery.

“He was prone to take offense at everything,” Domenech wrote about the Bayern Munich winger, who last week said his club was more important than France.

“A senior player at the 2008 Euro [Cup] finals had warned me about Ribery, but I gave him the keys of the team. What a fool I am … “ he added.

Domenech also takes a swipe at Samir Nasri and Karim Benzema, who was labeled an “arrogant” person, who were both dropped from the squad before the World Cup.

“I did not call up [Nasri] in 2010 because I had the same problems with him two years before. He always points at anything that can trouble the group — in that he is no use in a squad,” Domenech said.

The Manchester City playmaker was banned for three games for insulting a reporter at Euro 2012. France manager Didier Deschamps has not called Nasri up since taking charge in July.

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