Vieira: France players would have died for Zidane at 1998 World Cup
Former World Cup winner Patrick Vieira has revealed the extent of the French squad's respect for talismanic playmaker ZInedine Zidane at the 1998 World Cup, which France won on home soil.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Vieira said: "France had a gifted generation in 1998 but Zidane was the special blessing. Like every player I wanted to work hard for Zidane."
Vieira, who will be a pundit for ITV Sport during the World Cup in Brazil, also revealed that it's Zidane's humility as much as his talent that inspired his team-mates.
"Zidane is a winner," Vieira continued. "But it was the fact that he was so humble, so simple, so welcoming of everyone around him that made others want to sacrifice themselves for him.
"At our base in Clairefontaine he had a certain habit; after dinner he would always stay behind and sit around the bar with a coffee, available for any player to talk to. He's not a loud guy but he was always speaking with everyone, little conversations, showing respect. If you give to people, people will give to you. He understood that and, to be honest, we would have died for him.
"Humbleness is why Zidane is so great. I've found, in general, the real big, top, players do not have a problem with their egos. It's always the small players who have big egos."