France unaffected by Santini's move to Tottenham

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> French players have insisted coach Jacques Santini's decision to move to Tottenham Hotspur won't affect the national team's performance at Euro 2004.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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France coach Jacques Santini may have surprised the soccer world by agreeing to lead England's Tottenham Hotspur next season, but his players have insisted that the decision won't affect the national team's performance at Euro 2004. The squad gathered at their Clairefontaine training base on Friday to put the final touches to preparations for the tournament. They will be able to show they are unaffected by the news when they play Ukraine at the Stade de France on Sunday before leaving for their northern Portuguese training base next week. 'Nothing's changed' Santini said that nothing had changed in terms of his squad's preparations for the tournament. He refutes the idea that he is walking out on the team. "No I am not quitting the team. I took a decision, I am giving new direction to my career," he said. Santini is expected to earn three times as much as his current salary when he takes over at Tottenham Hotspur next month, but his difficult relationship with the French soccer federation is the more likely reason behind his departure. Impressive record His record in his time in charge is impressive with 18 wins, three draws and just one defeat. And France were the only side to qualify for Portugal with a 100 per cent record He would dearly love to leave a legacy of victory at Euro 2004 when he vacates his post later this summer. (AP)