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Euro giants France and Italy could lead as many as eight teams in booking their berths in the 16 side Euro 2004 Finals today as they contest the latest round of qualifiers.
Emmanuel Petit, a World Cup winner in 1998, has bowed out of international football after winning 63 caps for France.
Europe's most powerful football nations #8211; except Germany #8211; pulled rank over lesser opposition in their Euro 2004 qualifiers on Saturday with defending champions France leading the way with a 5-0 hammering of Cyprus.
Defending champions France can become the first team to reach the Finals of Euro 2004 today if they defeat Cyprus here - but they will have to do it without playmaker Zinedine Zidane in a worrying reminder of the disaster which befell them at the last World Cup.
Rangers#8217; Dutch playmaker Ronald de Boer will be sidelined for up to six weeks with a knee injury, the Scottish champions confirmed on Tuesday in what was a major blow to their European hopes.
Reigning champions France will become the first team to qualify for next season#8217;s European Championship Finals if they beat Cyprus in Paris and other results go their way on Saturday.
Claude Makelele believes Chelsea can outshine nine-times European Cup winners Real Madrid and English Premiership rivals Arsenal and Manchester United this season.