Patrick Vieira has criticised France officials for running their national team badly and claims they have ‘let down’ their international players.
The midfielder was at the heart of a period of French domination in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they won the 1998 World Cup on home soil and then the Euros two years later.
But he believes the structure in place back then was allowed to crumble by those running football in the country.
‘In France you are talking about Samir Nasri and some of the other players having personal issues,’ Vieira said.
‘But Samir never had a problem with Manchester City. They talk about Karim Benzema, but he never had a problem with Real Madrid. Franck Ribery never had a problem at Bayern Munich.
‘So I think it is the structure that creates that kind of problem. The French national team has to look at itself, how the structure is done. That is not as strong as City, Bayern or Real Madrid.
‘The problem is that you need people above who dictate the rules. It is like parents. When you have a kid, who are shown the rules, the kids know where to stand and what to do and what not to do.
‘If there are no rules, people do what they want. The structure in the French national team in the last few years wasn’t at the best.’
Shock: Nasri was left out of France’s provisional World Cup squad, supposedly for disciplinary reasons
Vieira, however, feels the tide is finally turning following recent turbulent years.
They crashed out of the 2008 European Championships and 2010 World Cup in the group stage, one of their worst results in either competition.
‘When I was playing it was a different structure,’ Vieira added, speaking at the launch of ITV’s coverage of the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
‘Every player knew where they were, what they had to do and how they had to behave.
‘When I was there, the majority of the players had big experience. I think the average age was around 30. This one is younger. In the last few years the French team had been a bit younger.
‘When you are young you need more people around to support you, and I think the players have been let down by the structure around them.
‘It has changed because they have a new president now, who has been working and been changing the manager and people around him.
‘Now I think the French team is more solid and when you look at what they’ve been doing in the last few games it’s because the structure around is more clear.’