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They said it . . . Quotes from the World Cup final.

PARIS (Saturday, July 12, 1998) -- Some selected quotes from the moments after France’s 3-0 victory over Brazil in the World Cup final, provided by the Gannett News Service,

"I'm not very good with my head. But I went for the near post (first goal) on the corner from Emmanuel (Petit). I got there and the ball came, and I headed it right for once. It's fabulous _ to score two goals in the final. There's nothing better -- we're world champions."

-- France hero Zinedine Zidane, who headed home two corner kicks.


"We wanted it more than the Brazilians. We have been working for this for four years. This group of players was born for the World Cup. It was very difficult to do, but we did it. (Coach) Aime Jacquet was fabulous, he was extraordinary. We all gave that little extra, which made the difference."

-- France midfielder Youri Djorkaeff


"We are very proud, we worked very hard for this . . . We deserved to win. We've developed a great understanding in the squad, we are all on the same wavelength and as we got better the public warmed to us. We had a stock of confidence but we were let down by the press. I'll never forgive them."

-- France coach Aime Jacquet, proud of team, but not of French media, a segment of which criticized him strongly the past couple years.


"I want to thank all those who have supported us through thick and thin who couldn't get into the stadium tonight."

-- France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, who answered critics with strong performance.


"We lost to a better team. We lost it in the first half almost as soon as we went 1-0 down, and certainly at 2-0 that was virtually it. The French dominated us. I was praying for the first period to end to improve our positioning, but they translated their superiority into goals."

-- Brazil coach Mario Zagallo.


"It's magic for them, and they deserved it. We started the match well but we lost concentration and conceded two goals. On corners you need to concentrate and we messed them up. It's not easy for us because we always have to win and we are not used to losing. Now we must learn from this defeat."

-- Brazil midfielder Leonardo, congratulating French, and bemoaning defensive lapses.


"We were apathetic in game when we couldn't be apathetic . . . We just didn't play well."

-- Brazil goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel.


"It was lack of attention. We trained our positioning exhaustively, but in the game it didn't turn out the way we planned."

-- Brazil midfielder Cesar Sampaio.


"Ronaldo felt ill after dinner. But he had a rest and afterwards he felt better, so he was able to play."

-- Brazil team doctor Lidio Toledo. Others mentioned ankle and possible knee problems.


"He's under more pressure than anybody else in the world, and all that's happened today has left him very distressed. I have a wife, family and children to go home to, but he doesn't have that. Ronaldo doesn't have the support you need. I urge everyone just to leave the boy alone."

-- Brazil defender Roberto Carlos, urging for media to not abuse Ronaldo.


"Even when we saw he was not 100 percent, we had to keep on playing our game."

-- France midfielder Patrick Vieira on Ronaldo.