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In this post, we will check out the top 10 greatest French footballers of all time.
France has a rich footballing history and has produced some of the greatest players the world has ever seen. From dominating at the club level to leading their national team to World Cup glory, these players have left an indelible mark on the sport.
In this article, we will look at the top 10 greatest French footballers of all time. This list will include players who have achieved great success at both club and international levels, as well as those who have made significant contributions to the game.
From iconic players of the past to current stars, this list will showcase the immense talent that France has produced over the years.
These players have not only entertained millions of football fans around the world but have also inspired generations of French players to come. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 greatest French footballers of all time.
Top 10 Greatest French Footballers Of All Time
10. Lilian Thuram
Lilian Thuram was a French football player who played as a Defender. Having made a significant impact on both the national team and his club teams throughout his career.
Born in 1972, Thuram began his professional career with Monaco before moving on to play for Italian clubs Parma and Juventus.
He is most well-known for his time with the French national team, where he played a key role in helping them win the 1998 World Cup.
Thuram was known for his defensive skills and was considered one of the best defenders of his generation.
He was a mainstay in the French defense for many years and was also known for his leadership and determination on the pitch.
In addition to his success with the national team, Thuram also won numerous domestic and international titles with his club teams, including Coppa Italia 1998, UEFA Cup 1998, and the Suppercoppa Italiana 2002 and 2003.
Overall, Thuram’s contributions to French football have earned him a place among the greatest players in the country’s history. Lilian Thuram is number 10 in our list of the best 10 legendary French football players ever.
9. Jean Tigana
Jean Tigana was a French professional footballer who played as a midfielder during the 1980s and 1990s.
He grew up in France, where he began his professional football career as a player at Toulon. He moved to Lyon in 1978 and then to Bordeaux in a $4 million transfer.
Tigana was known for his quick feet and technical ability, which helped him excel as a creative midfielder. He was a key player for Bordeaux, and also played for the French national team, appearing in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups.
He won several more league titles and individual accolades during his time. Tigana retired from professional football in 1991, but his legacy lives on as one of the greatest French footballers of all time.
He is remembered for his skill, leadership, and dedication to the game. Jean Tigana is number 9 in our list of the greatest 10 French football icons in history.
8. Didier Deschamps
Didier Deschamps is a former football player who was born on 15 October 1968 in Bayonne, France. He played as a midfielder for clubs such as Juventus, Marseille, and Chelsea.
Deschamps won the World Cup with France in 1998; he also won the European Championship in 2000.
With Juventus he played in three Champions League finals in a row between 1996 and 1998, winning the title in 1996.
After Franz Beckenbauer and followed by Iker Casillas, he was only the second captain in the history of football to have swiped the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy, and the European Championship trophy.
Deschamps is widely regarded as one of the greatest French footballers of all time. He won numerous trophies and accolades during his playing career.
His leadership and tactical expertise have also made him a successful coach, leading France to the World Cup title in 2018. Deschamps is definitely deserving of his place on the list of the best 10 French soccer players ever.
7. Patrick Viera
Patrick Viera does not need any introduction in this list. He had a successful career as a player and is best known for his strength, leadership, and versatility on the pitch, and has won numerous accolades throughout his career.
As a player, Viera won the Premier League and FA Cup multiple times with Arsenal, as well as the World Cup and European Championship with the French national team.
He also played for clubs Manchester City and was known for his aggressive style of play and strong tackling ability.
He is known for his tactical prowess and ability to develop young talent. Overall, Patrick Viera’s contributions to the world of football cannot be denied, and he is truly one of the greatest French footballers of all time.
6. Laurent Blanc
Laurent Blanc is widely regarded as one of the greatest French footballers of all time and is recognized for his successful stints at clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, and Manchester United.
Blanc started his professional career at Montpellier in France before moving on to play for Napoli, Barcelona, and Manchester United.
He won numerous titles and accolades at each of these clubs, including the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
In addition to his club success, Blanc also had a successful international career with the French national team.
He was a key member of the French team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 UEFA European Championship, and he was named to the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 1998.
After retiring from professional football, Blanc went on to become a successful coach, managing teams such as Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain.
Overall, Laurent Blanc’s impressive career as both a player and coach makes him one of the top 10 greatest French footballers of all time.
5. Raymond Kopa
Raymond Kopa was a French football player and considered one of France’s greatest and most influential players, having won Ballon d’Or awards during his career.
He is known for his exceptional skills and speed on the pitch. He was born in 1931 in Noeux-Les-Mines, France, and began his professional career at the age of 17.
Kopa quickly made a name for himself as a talented attacking midfielder and was soon signed by Real Madrid in 1956.
He spent six seasons with the Spanish club, winning three European Cup titles. After leaving Real Madrid.
He also had a successful international career, earning 45 caps for the French national team and representing them at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups.
Kopa’s legacy in French football is undeniable and he is remembered as one of the country’s greatest players. Raymond Kopa is number 5 in our list of the top 10 greatest French footballers of all time.
4. Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry is a retired French professional footballer who is considered one of the greatest players of all time. He is a striker who played for some of the top clubs in the world, including Arsenal, Barcelona, and New York Red Bulls.
Henry is the all-time leading goalscorer for the French national team, having scored 51 goals in 123 appearances. He is also the top scorer for Arsenal in their history, having scored 228 goals in all competitions.
Henry was known for his pace, dribbling skills, and clinical finishing, and he helped lead Arsenal to two Premier League titles and three FA Cup titles. He also won the Spanish League title and the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona.
In addition to his club success, Henry was a key player for France in their run to the 2006 World Cup final, where they were beaten by Italy in the final. He was also named the French Footballer of the Year on five occasions.
Overall, Thierry Henry is considered one of the greatest French footballers of all time and is remembered for his impressive goalscoring record and outstanding talent on the pitch.
3. Just Fontaine
Just Fontaine is a former French professional footballer who played as a striker. He is best known for his incredible scoring record at the 1958 World Cup, where he scored a record 13 goals in just six games.
Fontaine began his career at the local club Stade de Marrakech before moving to France to join Nice in 1953. He quickly established himself as one of the top goalscorers in the French league and earned his first international call-up in 1954.
Fontaine went on to represent France at three World Cups, and his most memorable performance came at the 1958 tournament in Sweden.
He scored a hat-trick in the opening game against Yugoslavia and followed that up with four goals against Paraguay and two against West Germany.
He also scored two more goals in the quarter-final against Northern Ireland and one in the semi-final against Brazil.
Despite France’s defeat in the final to Brazil, Fontaine’s 13 goals remain a World Cup record to this day. He retired from football in 1962, having scored a total of 30 goals in 21 appearances for France.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest French footballers of all time, and his scoring feats at the 1958 World Cup will forever be remembered as one of the greatest performances in the history of the sport.
2. Michel Platini
Michel Platini is a former French professional footballer who is widely considered one of the greatest French footballers of all time.
He was a talented playmaker who played for clubs such as Nancy, Saint-Etienne, and Juventus and was a key member of the French national team.
Platini was known for his creative passing, dribbling skills, and clinical finishing, and he was a key part of the French team that won the European Championship in 1984.
He also won the Ballon d’Or three times in a row in 1983, 1984, and 1985, and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1984.
Overall, Michel Platini’s talent and success on the pitch, as well as his contributions to the sport as a coach and administrator, make him a worthy inclusion in the list of the top 10 greatest French footballers of all time.
1. Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane is without a doubt one of the greatest French footballers of all time. He was a key member of the French national team that won the World Cup in 1998, and he also played for top clubs such as Juventus and Real Madrid.
Zidane was known for his technical ability, vision, and creativity on the pitch. He was a gifted playmaker and had an excellent ability to score goals from midfield.
His technical skills, combined with his leadership and calm demeanor, made him one of the most respected players in the world.
In addition to his success on the national team and at the club level, Zidane also won numerous individual accolades.
He was named the FIFA World Player of the Year three times, and he was named to the UEFA Team of the Year multiple times.
Overall, Zinedine Zidane’s contributions to French football and his outstanding career make him a clear choice for the greatest French footballer of all time.
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