World Cup 2010: France Captain Patrice Evra Rejects Claims Of Disharmony Amongst Squad

Left-back insists the French have a 'very good team spirit'
France captain Patrice Evra has rejected any ideas of disharmony amongst the squad whilst they are away at the World Cup in South Africa.

Zinedine Zidane has been among a number of figures to criticise the team this week, with the French legend accusing the current squad of a lack of teamwork.

Other reports have suggested that Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda and outgoing coach Raymond Domenech were involved in a training ground row before their opening game with Uruguay.

Evra, though, insists that the team is in high spirits and are looking to kick-start their World Cup campaign against Mexico on Thursday night.

"I like to play within a very good team spirit," he said.

"I am always making sure that the group remains together and in good spirits and we remain friends, play closely together and are frank with one another so we don't take our problems out onto the pitch.

"Since the first day you could feel this team was closely-knit and after each training session there are little gestures that cannot lie.

"We do not all retire to our rooms after the meal; we try to play together, to work in a very good spirit and remain together as much as possible.

"If you look at our qualifying campaign it was not easy [France qualified via a play-off victory over the Republic of Ireland] but in the end we qualified and that illustrates how closely-knit the team is."

The Manchester United left-back also insists that the team is confident of doing well as the tournament progresses, despite the criticism they have faced.

"We are a strong team, confident in one another and not scared of anyone," he added.

"I can assure you this team will remain closely-knit right until the end.

"The team is impatient but we are confident. We know it is a very important game."

France boss Domenech is unfazed by the criticism of him and his side, however, adopting a philosophical approach to the media’s criticism.

"I have said over the last six years that I don't care, I could not care less," he said.

"Whatever is being said outside of my team in the world I do not care.

"We have our work cut out but I am not going to change what is written in the press, so I have to accept it or ignore it.

"It is not just typical of the French media, it happens in many countries.

"It is life, it is not abnormal or exceptional."

Who will come out on top? Check out Castrol Football's 2010 FIFA World Cup Match Predictor.