Playmaker Zinedine Zidane says France coach Roger Lemerre is not to blame for his team's shock elimination after the first round of the World Cup.

"It's still difficult to draw lessons just now," said the Real Madrid midfielder in an interview on the website www.zidane-orange.fr.

"On the other hand, I wish to say that one needs to stop saying the coach is to blame.

"You should not put everything on the coach's back or single out one person as the only one to blame."

Lemerre's future as national coach is expected to be confirmed by the French Soccer Federation (FFF) next week.

Zidane, who was making his first comments since defending champions France exited the World Cup without winning a game or scoring a goal, was injured for the first two group games against Senegal and Uruguay. He then returned for the final match, when France were beaten 2-0 by Denmark.

"We were the ones on the pitch. We maybe did not do what should be done, but we did our best," said Zidane.

"You cannot go on saying that we went to South Korea on holidays or that we were sure to win.

"We were on the pitch and we must take full responsibility." The French playmaker, who celebrated his 30th birthday last Sunday, said weariness could also account for France's unexpected elimination.

"It's not an excuse but I believe we were a little tired for sure."

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