Zidane: I am an adopted Spaniard, but French first and foremost

The Frenchman is solely supporting Les Blues in tonight's Euro 2012 quarter-final despite his strong links with Real Madrid, but he does admit that La Roja are firm favourites
Zinedine Zidane insists that he will be supporting France in Saturday's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Spain, despite his affection for his country of residence.

The 40-year-old spent the final years of his playing career at Real Madrid, and has since operated as the club's sporting director, but says that he will always be French primarily.

"I am an adopted Spaniard, but French first and foremost!" he told RMC when asked who he would be cheering on. "Am I torn? Of course not. If I'm hoping for one thing it's a French victory tonight."

The former Real Madrid star admits that Vicente del Bosque's side are favourites going to the tie, but insists France usually save their best performances for the more illustrious opponents.

He continued: "Spain are favourites. It makes no sense to hide it, but France can do great things, especially against better teams."

Finally, the Euro 2000 winner pinned his hopes on Karim Benzema, who will lead Les Blues' attack, saying that his move to Real Madrid has improved him.

"Benzema has changed. He has realised that he is playing for the greatest club in the world."

Zidane was part of the France team that beat Spain 3-1 in the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup, scoring the final goal in the Hannover clash.