Sagnol: France lack winners
© AFP

Former international Willy Sagnol is determined to develop a new breed of France player as they seek to end their recent woes in major tournaments.

Since their back-to-back triumphs at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™ and UEFA EURO 2000, Les Bleus have three times been eliminated in the group stage of major championships.

Reaching the Germany 2006 Final, where they lost on penalties to Italy after Zinedine Zidane's sending off, was an isolated success and they exited this EURO 2012 at the quarter-final stage to eventual champions Spain.

Sagnol, who called time on his playing career in 2009 due to injury, now acts as team manager overseeing France's youth teams from U-15 up to U-21 level.

He told France Football: "We need winners. That is what is lacking in French culture generally, and it's not easy to develop.

"While you can improve a player's technical ability and help him evolve, it is hard to change the mentality. Once they are in a high-level structure, that must be mandatory, it must have the same importance as technical education."