France players acted like ‘foolhardy brats’ during the 2010 World Cup, according to then-manager Raymond Domenech.
Les Bleus crashed out of the tournament at the group stage after failing to win a game.
And the dismal campaign was marred by in-fighting, with Nicolas Anelka sent home and the rest of the squad going on strike.
Domenech – since replaced by Laurent Blanc – has not before spoken publicly about events in South Africa.
But he has broken his silence in an interview with L’Express magazine, due to be published on Wednesday.
“Looking back, I see them above all as a bunch of irresponsible, foolhardy brats,” said Domenech.
Turning to the strike itself, which followed Anelka’s return to France, Domenech added: “They knew perfectly well what they were doing.”
“They even closed the bus curtains to hide from the cameras.”
He also described the actions of the squad as a ‘masquerade’ and said that the 1998 World Cup winners had been turned into a ‘laughingstock’.
Domenech accepted some of the blame, admitting that his selections, and team talks, had not been good enough.
However, he insisted: “I’m not the moron that’s been described.”