Laurent Blanc has expressed his pride after being unveiled as France coach on Tuesday morning.
Blanc was a key part of the France team which triumphed in both the 1998 World Cup, on home soil, and Euro 2000, and he insists even their dismal World Cup campaign under Raymond Domenech in South Africa this summer did not deter him from continuing his link with the national team.
"I am very proud to be here as coach of the France team," he said. "For me, the France team is above everything, it was a thread throughout my career. As a player I experienced difficult times but also some great moments."
He added: "My commitment to the France team is absolute. I had other challenges available to me, but this one with the French team most attracted me. The recent difficult events never called that into question.
"The France team does not belong to anybody. It is for everyone, for you (the media) the same as for me. I understand what the France team represents, the rights and the requirements linked to this jersey."
Blanc has signed a two-year contract to guide Les Bleus through the qualification campaign for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
Former national team midfielder Alain Boghossian will remain as assistant coach, the role he occupied under Domenech, and is joined by Jean-Louis Gasset.