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   22 May, 2002 | 1735 IST


Brazil get cracking

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Delighted dad Zidane joins squad

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Delayed playmaker Zinedine Zidane has joined the France preparing for the defence of their world title in Japan on Wednesday.

The Real Madrid player, who attended the birth of his third son at the weekend, flew in by helicopter to the sea resort of Ibusuki where the French have set up their training camp at a luxury hotel for a week.

Zidane arrived from the airport of nearby city Kagoshima where he had landed after a 17-hour flight from Paris.

The rest of the squad arrived on Monday for a six-day stay before moving to South Korea.

Zidane, welcomed by a few dozen fans dressed in blue shirts, said he was tired after the trip before discretely entering the hotel by a back door.

He is to hold a press conference on Thursday.

Coach Roger Lemerre had on Tuesday expressed his impatience to have his key player with the squad, saying the tournament would not really start for France until he arrived.

Zidane, who did not play in the 2-1 defeat to Belgium at The Stade de France last week, may play into the last warm-up friendly against co-hosts South Korea in Seoul on Sunday.

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