The 10 Best French Soccer Players In History

Best French Soccer Players In History: France is a country that has always had a great affinity for beautiful game. Not for nothing, they have one of the oldest professional leagues on the continent. However, they have not always enjoyed great continental or international success to be considered one of the countries belonging to the top of European leagues. In this article i show you best french soccer players in history.

Best French Soccer Players In History

In recent decades, the French team has had its best years both internationally and at club level. Going to win two World Cups (1998 and 2018), two Euro Cups (1984 and 2000), two Confederations Cups (2001 and 2003) and a Gold Medal at the Olympic Games (1984).

However, this does not mean that France has not had outstanding players worthy of being recognized throughout its history. Therefore, today we have prepared a ranking in which you can meet the 10 best players in the history of France . In this way, you will be able to learn a little more about the 10 best French at a local and continental level.

10. Marcel Desailly

  • Full Name: Marcel Desailly
  • Birth Name: Odenke Abbey
  • Date of Birth: 7 September 1968
  • Place of Birth: Accra, Ghana
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Centre-back, Defensive Midfielder

The player with whom we open our ranking is none other than Marcel Desailly. This central defender and pivot stood out mainly in three countries in which he played. France, of course, with his beloved Nantes and at Olympique de Marseille, in Italy with AC Milan , and in England with Chelsea. In all these clubs (except OM) Desailly played more than 150 games and won titles with OM, AC Milan and Chelsea.

His track record includes not only the only UEFA Champions League (OM 1993) that a French club has raised, but also the four titles with the French senior team (Euro 2000, World Cup 98 and Confederations 2001 and 2003 ). In addition to another Champions League, this time with AC Milan. Finally, at the national level, he is the fourth player with the most matches in the history of France.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1993–2004 France 1163

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
FIFA Confederations Cup2001, 2003
UEFA European Championship 2000

9. Laurent Blanc

  • Full Name: Laurent Robert Blanc
  • Date of Birth: 19 November 1965
  • Place of Birth: Alès, France
  • Height: 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
  • Position(s): Centre-back

The ninth place in our ranking goes to a player who is currently well known for his coaching work. Laurent Blanc, or as he is popularly known, Lolo Blanc, was a talented central defender who excelled mainly at the local level. However, his high level earned him an unsuccessful signing for FC Barcelona at the time.

With his team he won the not inconsiderable figure of two titles (World Cup 98 and Euro 2000 ) and is currently the eighth player with the most games in the history of his team (97 games).

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1989–2000 France 9716

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
UEFA European Championship2000

8. Fabien Barthez

  • Full Name: Fabien Alain Barthez
  • Date of Birth: 28 June 1971
  • Place of Birth: Lavelanet, France
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

The eighth place is occupied by the legendary goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. This great player is famously remembered for being the goalkeeper who received one of the best goals in history from Roberto Carlos. However, Barthez’s career was never overshadowed by this fact.

With his national team, Barthez achieved a historic milestone by being one of the few players who participated in almost all the recent successes of the French national team. He won the 98 World Cup being a figure, the Euro 2000 and the 2003 Confederations Cup. In addition, he was runner-up in the world in 2006.

At club level, Barthez won the 93 ‘UEFA Champions League with OM. In addition, he managed to stand out internationally by winning two Premier League with Manchester United.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1994–2006 France 870

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
FIFA Confederations Cup2003
UEFA European Championship2000

7. Lilian Thuram

  • Full Name: Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien
  • Date of Birth: 1 January 1972
  • Place of Birth: Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
  • Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Defender

The seventh place in our ranking is taken by a player that every fan of world football will know very well. Lilian Thuram (the father of Marcus Thuram, one of the Bundesliga’s sensation players) was a central or lateral defender who stood out in Italy and France.

He was one of the members of that legendary Parma (UEFA Cup of 99 ‘) full of stars, in addition to being part of Juventus from 2001 to 2006. With his team he won practically all possible titles, lifting the 98 World Cup, the Euro of 2000 and the Confederations Cups of 2001 and 2003.

As if that were not enough, Thuram is the player with the most presence in the history of ‘les bleus’. This, thanks to the 142 games he played between 1994 and 2008.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1994–2008 France 1422

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
UEFA European Championship2000
FIFA Confederations Cup2003

6. Raymond Kopa

  • Full Name: Raymond Kopaszewski
  • Date of Birth: 13 October 1931
  • Place of Birth: Nœux-les-Mines, France
  • Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

Currently, there are few to whom the Kopa surname does not ring a bell. This, thanks to the recent individual title devised by France Football to reward the best player under 21 years of age. That’s right, the Kopa Trophy takes its name from Raymond Kopa, the first French winner of the Ballon d’Or (1958).

This well-known French player was part of one of the most successful Real Madrid teams in history. Since he won three consecutive European Cups (current UEFA Champions League) with the Whites between 1956 and 1959. So much so, that he is considered one of the best footballers in the history of the Whites for his contributions and goals.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1952–1962 France 4518

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup third place1958

5. Didier Deschamps

  • Full Name: Didier Claude Deschamps
  • Date of Birth: 15 October 1968
  • Place of Birth: Bayonne, France
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Defensive midfielder

The player who takes fifth place in our ranking is the current coach of the French team: Didier Deschamps. This talented defensive midfielder holds one of the great records that every footballer and coach wishes they had. Deschamps is one of the three personalities in football history who was able to win a World Cup as a player and coach.

As if that were not enough, Deschamps was the captain of the French team that won the 98 World Cup and the Euro 2000. In addition, at club level he won two UEFA Champions League (92-93 with OM and 95-96 with Juventus) in addition to other national titles.

Deschamps is also one of the eight players who have managed to add more than 100 appearances with his team. Being the eighth that has added the most with 103 games.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1989–2000 France 1034

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
UEFA European Championship2000

4. Just Fontaine

  • Full Name: Just Louis Fontaine
  • Date of Birth: 18 August 1933
  • Place of Birth: Marrakech, French Morocco
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Fourth place goes to one of the most prolific scorers in World Cup history: Just Fontaine. This great striker, at the time, The top scorer in World Cup history after scoring 13 goals in his first and only participation in the top World Cup event. This was during the World Cup in Sweden 58, a date in which France came in third place.

However, his great scoring average is not only summarized in his 13 goals in 6 games in the World Cup. But also, for his 8 goals in 4 games during the 1960 Euro Cup. This makes him the seventh top scorer in the history of France with his 30 goals in 21 games, having a goal average of 1.43.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1953–1960 France 2130

Honours:

HonoursYears
Golden Foot2003
FIFA World Cup Golden Boot1958
French Division top scorer 1957–58, 1959–60
European Cup top scorer1958–59
FIFA 100 2004

3. Thierry Henry

  • Full Name: Thierry Daniel Henry
  • Date of Birth: 17 August 1977
  • Place of Birth: Les Ulis, France
  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

The top three of the best players in the history of France is opened by one of the best players in the history of the Premier League: Thierry Henry. This French striker, known mainly for his time at Arsenal de los invincibles and for his successful triplet with FC Barcelona, is also a living legend of the French team.

With the Gauls, Henry won three official titles, among which we can find the 98 World Cup, the Euro 2000 and the 2003 Confederations Cup. In addition, as if that were not enough, he was runner-up in the world championship in 2006.

Currently, he continues to hold the title of the national team’s top scorer with his 51 goals in 123 games. This record being threatened only by Chelsea FC player Olivier Giroud, who has scored 44 goals in 103 games.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1997–2010 France 12351

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
FIFA World Cup runner-up 2006
UEFA European Championship2000
FIFA Confederations Cup2003

2. Michel Platini

  • Full Name: Michel François Platini
  • Born: 21 June 1955 Jœuf, France
  • Nationality: French
  • Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
  • Occupation: Footballer
  • Position(s): Attacking Midfielder

The second place in our ranking goes to the triple winner of the Ballon d’Or, Michel Platini. This talented midfielder mainly stood out on the international scene with Juventus Turin. Club in which he managed to win practically everything and became a legend of the Italian competition.

Until the appearance of Lionel Messi, Michel Platini had been the only player in history who had been able to win the Ballon d’Or three times in a row. However, one of the great pending duties has always been to win a World Cup title with his team, a task that he could never complete.

However, Platini managed to lift Euro 84 and become the team’s third highest scorer in history with his 41 goals in 72 games.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1976–1987 France7241

Honours:

HonoursYears
UEFA European Championship1984
Artemio Franchi Trophy1985
FIFA World Cup third place1986
Pre-Olympic Zone European1976

1. Zinedine Zidane

  • Full name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane
  • Date of birth: 23 June 1972
  • Place of birth: Marseille, France
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

Finally, we have one of the best midfielders in the history of modern football and best french soccer players in history. Zinedine Zidane, the legendary Frenchman is, for us, the best player in the entire history of France. The statistics confirm this and his great record is just a sample of what he was capable of.

With his team he managed to win the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 Euro Cup. However, he is sadly remembered for his unfortunate incident in the 2006 World Cup final, the header that forever marked the last game of this crack’s career. Matterazzi did his part, but that fact is already part of football history.

With ‘les bleus’ he managed to score an impressive 31 goals , making him the fifth highest scorer in the history of his team. In addition, thanks to his 108 appearances, he is the fifth player with the most matches in the history of France.

At club level, Zidane is famously remembered for his time at Juventus and mainly for his successful legacy at Real Madrid (the club where he scored the best goal in the history of the UEFA Champions League ).

He is currently the coach of the merengue club and was the commander of one of the most epic feats in the history of modern football. We refer, of course, to the three UEFA Champions League that Madrid won under his orders.

National Team Record:

YearsMatchesGoals
1994–2006 France10831

Honours:

HonoursYears
FIFA World Cup1998
FIFA World Cup runner-up2006
UEFA European Championship2000

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