French exit deserved, veteran says

Michel Platini, the man who inspired France to their first major trophy when they won the 1984 European Championship, says that the current French team did not deserve to reach the Euro 2004 semifinals. The holders were beaten 1-0 by Greece in the quarterfinals to continue their disappointing run after their group stage exit in the 2002 World Cup. «France’s performance did not live up to expectations,» Platini told the tournament’s website yesterday. «We did not play well. Even if the team did put their heart into it we did not play well enough to deserve a place in the semi-finals,» he added. Platini, however, said that he did not feel the country had entered another slump. «France is still among the great football nations and the important thing is that the team takes part in all the major tournaments,» Platini said «Talents will eventually emerge.» (Reuters)