Former France coach Raymond Domenech has broken his silence on their farcical World Cup campaign by branding the players "foolhardy brats''.
France failed miserably at the World Cup, finishing bottom of a group that contained Mexico, Uruguay and South Africa. The squad's troubles reached a head before the final group game against the hosts when the players went on strike after Nicolas Anelka had been sent home following a changing-room row with Domenech.
"Everyone is talking instead of me,'' he said in extracts that will appear in Wednesday's edition of L'Express. "I want to restore the truth. I'm not the moron that people are describing me as.
"Let's be clear: I got it wrong. I mustn't have chosen the right players nor found the words that were needed. I do not accept the criticism of politicians, nor that of former players who have turned to journalism, but that does not prevent me from drawing my own evaluation.''
On that fateful day when the players cancelled training and got back on the team bus, Domenech said: "It was more than an hour that we had been there. It was really necessary that someone take responsibility and stop that charade. All the cameras were focused on the bus, hundreds of kids were waiting on the sidelines.
"We were the laughing stock of the world.
"If there were any [leaders], I did not see them. Every time I went up [into the bus], there was no one. At this point, I told myself that they went crazy and they don't realise. Now I know I was wrong: they knew very well what they were doing.
"They even closed the curtains of the bus to hide themselves from cameras. With hindsight, I see them mainly as a bunch of foolhardy brats.''
Domenech is biding his time before he decides upon his next move.
"Above all, I do not want controversy," he said. "I have had offers for the theatre, for the cinema ... Nothing on TV, no. Honestly, how can we imagine me in a reality television show? I still need to brush aside certain memories before being able to start a new adventure. It's like love: you have to have forgotten a woman to be able to love another."