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French national football team

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Title: French national football team  
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French national football team

This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see France women's national football team.
Nickname(s) Les Bleus (The Blues)
Les Tricolores (The Tri-colors)
Association Fédération Française
de Football
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Didier Deschamps
Asst coach Guy Stéphan
Captain Hugo Lloris[1]
Most caps Lilian Thuram (142)
Top scorer Thierry Henry (51)
Home stadium Stade de France
FIFA ranking 21
Highest FIFA ranking 1 (May 2001 – May 2002)
Lowest FIFA ranking 27 (September 2010)
Elo ranking 12
Highest Elo ranking 1 (most recently July 2007)
Lowest Elo ranking 44 (May 1928
February 1930)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Belgium 3–3 France France
(Brussels, Belgium; 1 May 1904)
Biggest win
France France 10–0 Azerbaijan 
(Auxerre, France; 6 September 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Denmark 17–1 France France
(London, England; 22 October 1908)
World Cup
Appearances 13 (First in 1930)
Best result Winners, 1998
European Championship
Appearances 8 (First in 1960)
Best result Winners, 1984 and 2000
Confederations Cup
Appearances 2 (First in 2001)
Best result Winners, 2001 and 2003

The France national football team (French: Équipe de France) represents France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation (French: Fédération Française de Football), the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe. The national team's traditional colours are blue, white and red, the colors of the national flag of France, known as the drapeau tricolore, and the coq gaulois is the symbol of the team. France is colloquially known as Les Bleus (The Blues), which is the name associated with all of the country's sporting national teams, due to the blue shirts each team incorporates.

France played its first official match in 1904, and today primarily plays its home matches at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. The national team has won one FIFA World Cup title, two UEFA European Football Championships, an Olympic tournament, and two FIFA Confederations Cups. Following France's 2001 Confederations Cup victory, they became, along with Argentina, the only national teams to win the three most important men's titles organized by FIFA. France has a strong rivalry with neighbours Italy, and has historically also had important rivalries with Belgium, Brazil, England, Germany, and Spain.

The national team has experienced much of its success during three major "golden generations": in the 1950s, 1980s, and 1990s respectively, which resulted in numerous major honours. France was one of the four European teams that participated in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and, although having been eliminated in the qualification stage six times, is one of only three teams that have entered every World Cup cycle.[2] In 1958, the team, led by Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine, finished in third place at the FIFA World Cup. In 1984, France, led by Ballon d'Or winner Michel Platini, won UEFA Euro 1984. Under the leadership of Didier Deschamps and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, France became one of eight national teams to win the FIFA World Cup in 1998 when it hosted the tournament. Two years later, the team triumphed again in UEFA Euro 2000 and became the top team in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time. France has since added a pair of Confederations Cup titles, in 2001 and 2003, as well as an appearance in the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which it lost 5–3 on penalties to Italy.

Following the team's disastrous 2010 FIFA World Cup, where France failed to reach the knockout stages after a 2-0 loss to Mexico campaign, a major reconstruction within the federation resulted in the resignation of president Jean-Pierre Escalettes and the appointment of former international Laurent Blanc as manager, followed by Didier Deschamps in 2012. After dropping to 27th in the FIFA World Rankings in September 2010, its lowest ranking ever, France is currently ranked 23rd.

After the victory of its U-20 youth squad at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. France became the first team in history to claim all five of FIFA's 11-player men's titles. Their latest triumph adds to their FIFA World Cup (1998), FIFA Confederation Cups (2001 and 2003), FIFA U-17 World Cup (2001) and Olympic gold medal (1984). France has also won all of UEFA's men championships (U-17, U-19, U-21 and senior-level) at least once.


The France national football team was created in 1904 around the time of FIFA's foundation on 21 May 1904 and contested its first official international match on 1 May 1904 against Belgium, in Brussels, which ended in a 3–3 draw.[3] The following year, on 12 February 1905, France contested their first ever home match against Switzerland. The match was played at the Parc des Princes in front of 500 supporters. France won the match 1–0 with the only goal coming from Gaston Cyprès. Due to disagreements between FIFA and the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA), the country's sports union, France struggled to establish an identity. On 9 May 1908, the French Interfederal Committee (CFI), a rival organization to the USFSA, ruled that FIFA would now be responsible for the club's appearances in forthcoming Olympics Games and not the USFSA. In 1919, the CFI transformed themselves into the French Football Federation. In 1921, the USFSA finally merged with the French Football Federation.

In July 1930, France appeared in the inaugural FIFA World Cup, held in Uruguay. In their first-ever World Cup match, France defeated Mexico 4–1 at the Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo. Lucien Laurent became notable in the match as he scored not only France's first World Cup goal, but the first goal in World Cup history. France later lost 1–0 to fellow group stage opponents Argentina and Chile resulting in the team bowing out in the group stage. The following year saw the first selection of a black player to the national team. Raoul Diagne, who was of Senegalese descent, earned his first cap on 15 February in a 2–1 defeat to Czechoslovakia. Diagne later played with the team at the 1938 FIFA World Cup, alongside Larbi Benbarek, who was one of the first players of North African origin to play for the national team. At the 1934 FIFA World Cup, France suffered elimination in the opening round, losing 3–2 to Austria. On the team's return to Paris, they were greeted as heroes by a crowd of over 4,000 supporters. France hosted the 1938 FIFA World Cup and reached the quarter-finals losing 3–1 to the defending champions Italy.

The 1950s saw France handed its first Golden Generation composed of players such as Just Fontaine, Raymond Kopa, Jean Vincent, Robert Jonquet, Maryan Wisnieski, Thadée Cisowski, and Armand Penverne. At the 1958 FIFA World Cup, France reached the semi-finals losing to Brazil. In the third place match, France defeated West Germany 6–2 with Fontaine recording four goals, which brought his goal tally in the competition to 13, a World Cup record. The record still stands today. France hosted the inaugural UEFA European Football Championship in 1960 and, for the second straight international tournament, reached the semi-finals. In the round, France faced Yugoslavia and were shocked 5–4 despite being up 4–2 heading into the 75th minute. In the third-place match, France were defeated 2–0 by the Czechoslovakians.

The 1960s and 70s saw France decline significantly playing under several different managers and failing to qualify for numerous international tournaments. On 25 April 1964, Henri Guérin was officially installed as the team's first manager. Under Guérin, France failed to qualify for the 1962 FIFA World Cup and the 1964 European Nations' Cup. The team did return to major international play following qualification for the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The team lost in the group stage portion of the tournament. Guérin was fired following the World Cup. He was replaced by José Arribas and Jean Snella, who worked as caretaker managers in dual roles. The two only lasted four matches and were replaced by former international Just Fontaine, who only lasted two. Louis Dugauguez succeeded Fontaine and, following his early struggles in qualification for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, was fired and replaced by Georges Boulogne, who could not get the team to the competition. Boulogne was later fired following his failure to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup and was replaced by the Romanian Ștefan Kovács, who became the only international manager to ever manage the national team. Kovács also turned out to be a disappointment failing to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1976. After two years in charge, he was sacked and replaced with Michel Hidalgo.

Under Hidalgo, France flourished, mainly due to the accolades of great players like defenders Marius Trésor and Maxime Bossis, striker Dominique Rocheteau and of course midfielder Michel Platini, who, alongside Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse, and Luis Fernández formed the "carré magique" ("Magic Square"), which would haunt opposing defenses beginning at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, where France reached the semi-finals losing on penalties to rivals West Germany. The semi-final match-up is considered one of the greatest matches in World Cup history and was marred with controversy.[4] France earned their first major international honor two years later, winning UEFA Euro 1984, which they hosted. Under the leadership of Platini, who scored a tournament-high nine goals, France defeated Spain 2–0 in the final. Platini and Bruno Bellone scored the goals. Following the Euro triumph, Hidalgo departed the team and was replaced by former international Henri Michel. France later completed the hat-trick when they won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics football tournament and, a year later, defeated Uruguay 2–0 to win the Artemio Franchi Trophy, an early precursor to the FIFA Confederations Cup. Dominique Rocheteau and José Touré scored the goals. In a span of a year, France were holders of three of the four major international trophies. At the 1986 FIFA World Cup, France were favorites to win the competition, and, for the second consecutive World Cup, reached the semi-finals where they faced West Germany. Again, however, they lost. A 4–2 victory over Belgium gave France third place.

In 1988, the French Football Federation opened the Clairefontaine National Football Institute. Its opening ceremony was attended by then-President of France, François Mitterrand. Five months after Clairefontaine's opening, manager Henri Michel was fired and was replaced by Michel Platini, who failed to get the team to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Platini did lead the team to UEFA Euro 1992 and, despite going on a 19-match unbeaten streak prior to the competition, suffered elimination in the group stage. A week after the completion of the tournament, Platini stepped down as manager and was replaced by his assistant Gérard Houllier. Under Houllier, France and its supporters experienced a heartbreaking meltdown after having qualification to the 1994 FIFA World Cup all but secured with two matches to go, which were against last place Israel and Bulgaria. In the match against Israel, France were upset 3–2 and, in the Bulgaria match, suffered an astronomical 2–1 defeat. The subsequent blame and public outcry to the firing of Houllier and departure of several players from the national team fold. His assistant Aimé Jacquet was given his post.

Under Jacquet, the national team experienced its triumphant years. The squad composed of veterans that failed to reach the 1994 FIFA World Cup were joined by influential youngsters. The team started off well reaching the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 1996 where they lost 6–5 on penalties to the Czech Republic. In the team's next major tournament at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Jacquet led France to glory defeating Brazil 3–0 in the final at the Stade de France. Jacquet stepped down after the country's World Cup triumph and was succeeded by assistant Roger Lemerre who guided them through UEFA Euro 2000. Led by FIFA World Player of the Year Zidane, France defeated Italy 2–1 in the final. Trezeguet scored the golden goal in extra time. The victory gave the team the distinction of being the first national team to hold both the World Cup and Euro titles since West Germany did so in 1974, and it was also the first time that a reigning World Cup winner went on to capture the Euro. Following the result, the French national team were inserted to the number one spot in the FIFA World Rankings.

France failed to maintain that pace in subsequent tournaments. Although, the team won the Confederations Cup in 2001, France suffered a stunning goalless first round elimination at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. One of the greatest shocks in World Cup history saw France condemned to a 1–0 defeat to debutantes Senegal in the opening game of the tournament. After France finished bottom of the group, Lemerre was dismissed and was replaced by Jacques Santini. A full strength team started out strongly in UEFA Euro 2004, but they were upset in the quarter-finals by the eventual winners Greece. Santini resigned as coach and Raymond Domenech was picked as his replacement. France struggled in the early qualifiers for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. This prompted Domenech to persuade several past members out of international retirement to help the national team qualify, which they accomplished following a convincing 4–0 win over Cyprus on the final day of qualifying. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, France finished undefeated in the group stage portion and advanced all the way to the final defeating the likes of Spain, Brazil, and Portugal along the way. France took on Italy in the final and despite controversial disruptions in extra time, France failed to get on the score-sheet and Italy won 5–3 on penalties to be crowned champions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

France started its qualifying round for UEFA Euro 2008 strong and qualified for the tournament, despite two inevitable defeats to Scotland. France bowed out during the group stage portion of the tournament after having been placed in the group of death (which included Netherlands and Italy). Just like the team's previous World Cup qualifying campaign, the 2010 campaign got off to a disappointing start with France suffering disastrous losses and earning uninspired victories. France eventually finished second in the group and earned a spot in the UEFA play-offs against the Republic of Ireland for a place in South Africa. In the first leg, France defeated the Irish 1–0 and in the second leg procured a 1–1 draw, via controversial circumstances, to qualify for the World Cup.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, France continued to perform under expectations and were eliminated in the group stage. Midway through the competition, striker Nicolas Anelka was dismissed from the national team after reportedly having a dispute, in which obscenities were passed, with team manager Raymond Domenech during half-time of the team's loss to Mexico.[5][6] The resulting disagreement over Anelka's explusion between the players, the coaching staff, and federation officials resulted in the team boycotting training.[7][8][9] The negative publicity the national team received during the competition led to further repercussions back in France. The day after the team's elimination, it was reported by numerous media outlets that the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy would meet with team captain Thierry Henry to discuss the issues associated with the team's meltdown at the World Cup. The meeting was requested by Henry.[10] Following the completion of the competition, federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes resigned from his position. Domenech was also let go and former international Laurent Blanc was inserted as his replacement. On 23 July 2010, on the request of Blanc, the federation suspended all 23 players in the World Cup squad for the team's friendly match against Norway after the World Cup.[11] On 6 August, five players who were deemed to have played a major role in the 2010 FIFA World Cup training boycott were disciplined for their roles.[12][13]

Home stadium

During France's early years, the team's national stadium alternated between the Parc des Princes in Paris and the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes. France also hosted matches at the Stade Pershing, Stade de Paris, and the Stade Buffalo, but to a minimal degree. As the years moved forward, France began hosting matches outside the city of Paris at such venues as the Stade Marcel Saupin in Nantes, the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, and the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg.

Following the renovation of the Parc des Princes in 1972, which gave the stadium the largest capacity in Paris, France moved into the venue permanently. The team still hosted friendly matches and minor FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Football Championship qualification matches at other venues.

In 1998, the Stade de France was inaugurated as France's national stadium ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Located in Saint-Denis, a Parisian suburb, the stadium has an all-seater capacity of 81,338. France's first match at the stadium was played on 28 January 1998 against Spain. France won the match 1–0, with Zinedine Zidane scoring the lone goal. Since that match, France has used the stadium for almost every major home game.

Prior to matches, home or away, the national team trains at the Clairefontaine academy in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines. Clairefontaine is the national association football centre and is among twelve élite academies throughout the country. The center was inaugurated in 1976 by former federation president Fernand Sastre and opened in 1988. The center drew media spotlight following its usage as a base camp by the team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Team image

Media coverage

The national team currently has a broadcasting agreement with TF1 Group, who control the country's main national TV channel, TF1. The current agreement was set to expire following the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On 18 December 2009, the Federal Council of the French Football Federation agreed to extend its exclusive broadcasting agreement with the channel. The new deal grants the channel exclusive broadcast rights for the matches of national team, which include friendlies and international games for the next four seasons beginning in August 2010 and ending in June 2014. TF1 will also have extended rights, notably on the Internet, and may also broadcast images of the national team in its weekly program, Téléfoot.[14] The federation will receive €45 million a season, a €10 million decrease from the €55 million they received from the previous agreement reached in 2006.[15]


The France national team utilizes a three colour system, composed of colors blue, white and red. The team's three colors originate from the national flag of France, known as the drapeau tricoleur. France have brandished the colors since their first official international match against Belgium in 1904. Since the team's inception, France normally wear blue shirts, white shorts, and red socks at home, while, when on the road, the team utilizes an all-white combination or wear red shirts, blue shorts, and blue socks with the former being the most current. Between the years 1909–1914, France wore a white shirt with blue stripes, white shorts, and red socks. In a 1978 World Cup match against Hungary in Mar del Plata, both teams arrived at Estadio José María Minella with white kits, so France played in green-and-white striped shirts borrowed from Club Atlético Kimberley.[16]

Beginning in 1966, France had its shirts made by Le Coq Sportif until 1972. In 1972, France reached an agreement with German sports apparel manufacturer Adidas to be the team's kit provider. Over the next 38 years, the two would maintain a healthy relationship with France winning UEFA Euro 1984, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 2000 while wearing the brand's famous tricolour three stripes. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, France wore an all-white change strip in all four of its knockout matches, including the final.[17] On 22 February 2008, the French Football Federation announced that they were ending their partnership with Adidas and signing with the American manufacturer Nike, effective 1 January 2011. The unprecedented deal is valued at €320 million over seven years (2011–2018) making France's blue shirt the most expensive ever in the history of football.[18][19] The first France kit worn in a major tournament produced by Nike was the UEFA Euro 2012 strip, which was all dark blue and used gold as an accent colour.[20] In February 2013, Nike revealed an all baby blue change strip.

Kit history

1958 World Cup
1962 World Cup
1966 World Cup/1970
1978 World Cup
1978 World Cup (*)
1982 World Cup (home)
Euro 1984
World Cup 1986
1990 and 1991
Euro 1992
Euro 1996
Euro 1996 (away)
1998 World Cup (home)
1998 World Cup (away)
Euro 2000
Euro 2000 (away)
2002 World Cup
2006 World Cup
2006 World Cup (away)
Euro 2008
2010 World Cup
Euro 2012
2013– (away)

(*) This jersey was used in the first stage-match against Hungary played in Mar del Plata, due to the French team arrived to that city provided only with the white away kit (the same that Hungary had brought to the stadium). The problem was finally solved by local club Kimberley which lent the French squad their green and white striped jerseys to play the match.[21][22]


France is often referred to by the media and supporters as Les Bleus (The Blues), which is the nickname associated with all of France's international sporting teams due to the blue shirts each team incorporates. The team is also referred to as Les Tricolores or L'Equipe Tricolore (The Tri-color Team) due to the team's utilization of the country's national colors: blue, white, and red. During the 1980s, France earned the nickname the "Brazilians of Europe" mainly due to the accolades of the "carré magique" ("Magic Square"), who were anchored by Michel Platini. Led by coach Michel Hidalgo, France exhibited an inspiring, elegant, skillful, and technically advanced offensive style of football, which was strikingly similar to their South American counterparts.[23]

Representing multi-ethnic France

The France national team has long reflected the ethnic diversity of the country. The first black player to play in the national team was Raoul Diagne in 1931. Diagne was the son of the first African elected to the French National Assembly, Blaise Diagne. Seven years later, Diagne played on the 1938 FIFA World Cup team that featured Abdelkader Ben Bouali, and Michel Brusseaux, who were the first players of North African descent to play for the national team. At the 1958 FIFA World Cup, in which France reached the semi-finals, many sons of immigrants such as Raymond Kopa, Just Fontaine, Roger Piantoni, Maryan Wisnieski and Bernard Chiarelli were integral to the team's success. The tradition has since continued with successful French players such as Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Manuel Amoros, Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, David Trezeguet, Thierry Henry, Claude Makélélé, Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Karim Benzema all having either one or both of their parents foreign-born.

During the 1990s, the team was widely celebrated as an example of the modern multicultural French ideal.[24] The 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning team was celebrated and praised for inspiring pride and optimism about the prospects for the "French model" of social integration.[25] Of the 23 players on the team, the squad featured players who could trace their origins to Armenia, Algeria, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, Argentina, Ghana, Senegal, Italy, French Guiana, Portugal and Martinique with the patriarch of the team being Zinédine Zidane, who was born in Marseille to Algerian immigrants.

The multiracial makeup of the team has, at times, provoked controversy. In recent years, critics on the far right of the French political spectrum have taken issue with the proportional under-representation of ethnic white Frenchmen within the team. National Front politician Jean-Marie Le Pen protested in 1998 that the Black, Blanc, Beur team that won the World Cup did not look sufficiently French. In 2002, led by Ghanaian-born Marcel Desailly, the French team unanimously and publicly appealed to the French voting public to reject the presidential candidacy of Le Pen and, instead, return President Jacques Chirac to office. In 2006, Le Pen resumed his criticism charging that coach Raymond Domenech had selected too many black players.[26] In 2005, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut caused controversy by remarking to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that despite its earlier slogan, "the French national team is in fact black-black-black," and also adding that "France is made fun of all around Europe because of that." He later apologized for the comments declaring that they were not meant to be offensive.[27]

The Zidane-Materazzi headbutt incident in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final and its aftermath served as a symbol for the larger issue of Europe's struggle to integrate its immigrant population. Even though both players denied racism was involved in the exchange, the international media speculated for days about the presence of a racist element in the provocation from Materazzi observing that the Italian team contained no ethnic minorities.[28][29][30]

The national team's overall impact on France's efforts to integrate its minorities and come to terms with its colonial past has been mixed. In 2001, France played a friendly match at the Stade de France, site of its 1998 World Cup triumph, against Algeria. It was the country's first meeting with its former colony, with whom it had fought a war from 1954–1962, and it proved controversial. France's national anthem, La Marseillaise, was booed by Algerian supporters before the game, and following a French goal that made the score 4–1 in the second half, spectators ran onto the field of play, which caused play to be suspended. It was never resumed.

On 28 April 2011, French investigative website Mediapart released a story which claimed that the French Football Federation had been attempting to secretly put in place a quota system in order to limit the number of dual-citizenship players in its national academies. Quoting a senior figure in the FFF, the organisation was said to have wanted to set a cap of 30% on the number of players of dual-nationality by limiting places in the academies in the 12–13 age bracket.[31] The FFF responded by releasing a public statement on its website denying the report stating "none of its elected bodies has been validated, or even contemplated a policy of quotas for the recruitment of its training centers".[32] The federation also announced that it has authorized a full investigation into the matter and, as a result, suspended National Technical Director François Blaquart pending the outcome of the investigation.[33]

On 29 April, national team manager Laurent Blanc, who, in the report, was claimed to have agreed with the decision to implement the quotas, held a personal press conference at the l'Hôtel Le Régent in Bordeaux, in which he also denied the report declaring that he had "not heard of such a project".[34] On the following day, after Mediapart announced that it had a taped audio recording of the November 2010 meeting, Blanc released a statement on the FFF's website in which he apologized for possible offending comments he made during the meeting, while also declaring he was misquoted and denying he was racist stating "I do not withdraw the remarks I made yesterday. I admit that some terms used during a meeting on a sensitive subject can be ambiguous, out of context, and, if in my case, I've hurt some feelings but, I apologize. But being suspected of racism or xenophobia, which I am against all forms of discrimination, I do not support it".[35]

Former national team player Lilian Thuram said of the allegations, "Initially I thought this was a joke. I'm so stunned I don't know what to say", while Patrick Vieira declared that the comments Blanc allegedly made at the meeting made were "serious and scandalous". The French government also gave opinions on the matter. President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as being "viscerally opposed to any form of quota", while adding "setting quotas would be the end of the Republic". National Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno echoed the president's sentiments, while also demanding that the FFF "shed light" on a report.[36] Blanc was defended by several former players, most notably his 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning teammates Christophe Dugarry, Bixente Lizarazu, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, and Emmanuel Petit, current players, such as current national team captain Alou Diarra, and external sources, which included Pathé Diba, the president of L’Association Soutien aux Handicapés Africains (Association to Support the Disabled in Africa).[37][38][39][40][41] On 9 May, Blanc gave testimony at a hearing set up by the federation to investigate the quota matter. The next day, the federation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Coaching staff

As of 12 August 2012.[42]
Position Name
Manager Didier Deschamps
Assistant manager Guy Stéphan
Goalkeeper coach Franck Raviot
Doctor Franck Le Gall
Osteopath Jean-Yves Vandewalle
Physiotherapist Christophe Geoffroy
Physiotherapist Thierry Laurent


For France national team players with at least 20 appearances, see here. For a complete list of French international with a World Heritage Encyclopedia article, see here.

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the Friendly Match against Australia on October 11, 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Finland on October 15, 2013.[43]

Caps and goals as of 15 October 2013, after World Cup qualification match against Finland.
0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Hugo Lloris (captain) (1986-12-26) 26 December 1986 (age 27) 52 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
16 1GK Steve Mandanda (1985-03-28) 28 March 1985 (age 29) 16 0 France Marseille
23 1GK Stéphane Ruffier (1986-09-27) 27 September 1986 (age 27) 1 0 France Saint-Étienne

2 2DF Mathieu Debuchy (1985-07-28) 28 July 1985 (age 29) 16 2 England Newcastle United
3 2DF Patrice Evra (1981-05-15) 15 May 1981 (age 33) 52 0 England Manchester United
4 2DF Kurt Zouma (1994-10-27) 27 October 1994 (age 19) 0 0 France Saint-Étienne
5 2DF Mamadou Sakho (1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 (age 24) 15 0 England Liverpool
12 2DF Gaël Clichy (1985-07-26) 26 July 1985 (age 29) 20 0 England Manchester City
15 2DF Rod Fanni (1981-12-06) 6 December 1981 (age 32) 5 0 France Marseille
21 2DF Laurent Koscielny (1985-09-10) 10 September 1985 (age 28) 14 0 England Arsenal
22 2DF Éric Abidal (1979-09-11) 11 September 1979 (age 34) 66 0 France Monaco
24 2DF Raphaël Varane (1993-04-25) 25 April 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Real Madrid

6 3MF Yohan Cabaye (1986-01-14) 14 January 1986 (age 28) 25 2 England Newcastle United
7 3MF Franck Ribéry (1983-04-07) 7 April 1983 (age 31) 78 16 Germany Bayern Munich
8 3MF Mathieu Valbuena (1984-09-28) 28 September 1984 (age 29) 28 5 France Marseille
11 3MF Samir Nasri (1987-06-26) 26 June 1987 (age 27) 40 5 England Manchester City
13 3MF Clément Grenier (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 23) 3 0 France Lyon
14 3MF Blaise Matuidi (1987-04-09) 9 April 1987 (age 27) 17 0 France Paris Saint-Germain
17 3MF Dimitri Payet (1987-03-29) 29 March 1987 (age 27) 7 0 France Marseille
18 3MF Moussa Sissoko (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 (age 24) 12 0 England Newcastle United
19 3MF Paul Pogba (1993-03-15) 15 March 1993 (age 21) 5 1 Italy Juventus

9 4FW Olivier Giroud (1986-09-30) 30 September 1986 (age 27) 24 5 England Arsenal
10 4FW Karim Benzema (1987-12-19) 19 December 1987 (age 26) 62 17 Spain Real Madrid
20 4FW Loïc Rémy (1987-01-02) 2 January 1987 (age 27) 20 4 England Newcastle United

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for France squad within the past 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Mickaël Landreau (1979-05-14) 14 May 1979 (age 35) 11 0 France Bastia v.  Australia, 11 October 2013 INJ

DF Bacary Sagna (1983-02-14) 14 February 1983 (age 31) 37 0 England Arsenal v.  Australia, 11 October 2013 INJ
DF Adil Rami (1985-12-27) 27 December 1985 (age 28) 26 1 Italy Milan v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
DF Eliaquim Mangala (1991-02-13) 13 February 1991 (age 23) 3 0 Portugal Porto v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
DF Jérémy Mathieu (1983-10-29) 29 October 1983 (age 30) 2 0 Spain Valencia v.  Brazil, 9 June 2013
DF Benoît Trémoulinas (1985-12-28) 28 December 1985 (age 28) 2 0 Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv v.  Brazil, 9 June 2013
DF Christophe Jallet (1983-10-31) 31 October 1983 (age 30) 5 1 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Spain, 26 March 2013
DF Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (1989-05-15) 15 May 1989 (age 25) 3 0 England Newcastle United v.  Spain, 26 March 2013
DF Anthony Réveillère (1979-11-10) 10 November 1979 (age 34) 20 1 France Lyon v.  Italy, 14 November 2012

MF Étienne Capoue (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 26) 7 1 England Tottenham Hotspur v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
MF Maxime Gonalons (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 25) 6 0 France Lyon v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
MF Josuha Guilavogui (1990-09-19) 19 September 1990 (age 23) 5 0 Spain Atlético Madrid v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
MF Geoffrey Kondogbia (1993-02-15) 15 February 1993 (age 21) 1 0 France Monaco v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
MF Rio Mavuba (1984-03-08) 8 March 1984 (age 30) 9 0 France Lille v.  Belgium, 14 August 2013
MF Yoann Gourcuff (1986-07-11) 11 July 1986 (age 28) 31 4 France Lyon v.  Brazil, 9 June 2013
MF Romain Alessandrini (1989-04-03) 3 April 1989 (age 25) 0 0 France Rennes v.  Germany, 6 February 2013
MF Jérémy Ménez (1987-05-07) 7 May 1987 (age 27) 24 2 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Uruguay, 5 June 2013

FW André-Pierre Gignac (1985-12-05) 5 December 1985 (age 28) 17 4 France Marseille v.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
FW Bafétimbi Gomis (1985-08-06) 6 August 1985 (age 28) 12 3 France Lyon v.  Brazil, 9 June 2013
FW Alexandre Lacazette (1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 (age 23) 2 0 France Lyon v.  Brazil, 9 June 2013

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury

Previous squads





Last updated: 15 October 2013
Source: French Football Federation

Competitive record

For single-match results of the national team, see French football single-season articles and the team's results page.

FIFA World Cup record

Main article: France at the FIFA World Cup

France was one of the four European teams that participated at the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and have appeared in 13 FIFA World Cups, tied for fifth-best. The national team is one of eight national teams to have won at least one FIFA World Cup title. The France team won their first and only World Cup title in 1998. The tournament was played on home soil and France defeated Brazil 3–0 in the final match. In 2006, France finished as runners-up losing 5–3 on penalties to Italy. The team has also finished in third place on two occasions in 1958 and 1986 and in fourth place once in 1982. The team's worst result in the competition was a first-round elimination in 2002 and 2010. In 2002, the team suffered an unexpected loss to Senegal and departed the tournament without scoring a goal, while in 2010, France suffered defeats to Mexico and South Africa and earned a point from a draw with Uruguay.[44][45]

Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Group Stage 7th 3 1 0 2 4 3
Italy 1934 First Round 9th 1 0 0 1 2 3
France 1938 Quarter Final 6th 2 1 0 1 4 4
Brazil 1950 Qualified, but withdrew
Switzerland 1954 Group Stage 11th 2 1 0 1 3 3
Sweden 1958 Third Place 3rd 6 4 0 2 23 15
Chile 1962 Did not qualify
England 1966 Group Stage 13th 3 0 1 2 2 5
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify
West Germany 1974
Argentina 1978 Group Stage 12th 3 1 0 2 5 5
Spain 1982 Fourth Place 4th 7 3 2 2 16 12
Mexico 1986 Third Place 3rd 7 4 2 1 12 6
Italy 1990 Did not qualify
United States 1994
France 1998 Champions 1st 7 6 1 0 15 2
South Korea Japan 2002 Group Stage 28th 3 0 1 2 0 3
Germany 2006 Runners-up 2nd 7 4 3 0 9 3
South Africa 2010 Group Stage 29th 3 0 1 2 1 4
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018
Qatar 2022
Total 13/19 1 Title 54 25 11 18 96 68

UEFA European Championship record

France is one of the most successful nations at the UEFA European Football Championship having won two titles in 1984 and 2000. The team is just below Spain and Germany who have won three titles each. France hosted the inaugural competition in 1960 and have appeared in seven UEFA European Championship tournament, tied for fourth-best. The team won their first title on home soil in 1984 and were led by Ballon d'Or winner Michel Platini. In 2000, the team, led by FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, won its second title in Belgium and the Netherlands. The team's worst result in the competition was a first-round elimination in 1992 and 2008.

UEFA European Championship record
Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
France 1960 Fourth Place 4th 2 0 0 2 4 7
Spain 1964 Did Not Qualify
Italy 1968
Belgium 1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976
Italy 1980
France 1984 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 14 4
West Germany 1988 Did not qualify
Sweden 1992 Group Stage 6th 3 0 2 1 2 3
England 1996 Semi-Finals 4th 5 2 3 0 5 2
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Champions 1st 6 5 0 1 13 7
Portugal 2004 Quarter-Finals 6th 4 2 1 1 7 5
Austria Switzerland 2008 Group Stage 15th 3 0 1 2 1 6
Poland Ukraine 2012 Quarter-Finals 8th 4 1 1 2 3 5
France 2016 Qualified as hosts
Total 8/14 2 Titles 32 15 8 9 49 39

FIFA Confederations Cup record

France have appeared in two of the five FIFA Confederations Cups contested and won the competition on both appearances. The team's two titles place in second place only trailing Brazil who have won three. France won their first Confederations Cup in 2001 having appeared in the competition as a result of winning the FIFA World Cup in 1998. The team defeated Japan 1–0 in the final match. In the following Confederations Cup in 2003, France, appearing in the competition due to winning UEFA Euro 2000 and because of their duties as host, won the competition beating Cameroon 1–0 after extra time.

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999 Did not enter[46]
South Korea Japan 2001 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 12 2
France 2003 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 12 3
Germany 2005 Did not qualify
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013
Russia 2017 To be determined
Qatar 2021
Total 2/8 2 Titles 10 9 0 1 24 5
*Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won. Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Minor tournaments

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Belgium 1904 Évence Coppée Trophy Co-Winners 1st 1 0 1 0 3 3
Brazil 1972 Brazilian Independence Cup Group stage 8th 4 3 1 0 10 2
France 1985 Artemio Franchi Trophy Winners 1 1 0 0 2 0
France 1988 Tournoi de France Winners 1st 2 2 0 0 4 2
Kuwait 1990 Kuwait Tournament Winners 1st 2 2 0 0 4 0
Japan 1994 Kirin Cup Winners 1st 2 2 0 0 5 1
France 1997 Tournoi de France Group stage 3rd 3 0 2 1 3 4
Morocco 1998 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament Winners 1st 2 1 1 0 3 2
Morocco 2000 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament Winners 1st 2 1 1 0 7 3
South Africa 2000 Nelson Mandela Inauguration Challenge Cup Co-Winners 1 0 1 0 0 0
Total 8 titles 20 12 7 1 41 17
*Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.


This is a list of honours for the senior France national team

FIFA World Cup

UEFA European Championship

FIFA Confederations Cup

Olympic football tournament

  • Gold Medal (1): 1984
  • Silver Medal (1): 1900

Minor titles

Évence Coppée Trophy

  • Winners (1): 1904 (shared with Belgium)

Artemio Franchi Trophy

  • Winners (1): 1985

Kirin Cup

  • Winners (1): 1994

King Hassan II Cup

Tournoi de France

  • Winners (1): 1988

Nelson Mandela Inauguration Challenge Cup

  • Winners (1): 2000

Nasazzi's Baton

  • Winners (7): 1977, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1991, 2001


Most capped players

Main articles: List of France international footballers, List of France national football team captains and France national football team records
  Active national team players are highlighted
# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Lilian Thuram 1994–2008 142 2
2 Thierry Henry 1997–2010 123 51
3 Marcel Desailly 1993–2004 116 3
4 Zinedine Zidane 1994–2006 108 31
5 Patrick Vieira 1997–2009 107 6
6 Didier Deschamps 1989–2000 103 4
7 Laurent Blanc 1989–2000 97 16
Bixente Lizarazu 1992–2004 97 2
9 Sylvain Wiltord 1999–2006 92 26
10 Fabien Barthez 1994–2006 87 0
Last updated: 22 June 2010
Source: French Football Federation

Top goalscorers

# Player Career Goals Caps Average
1 Thierry Henry 1997–2010 51 123 0.42
2 Michel Platini 1976–1987 41 72 0.57
3 David Trezeguet 1998–2008 34 71 0.47
4 Zinedine Zidane 1994–2006 31 108 0.28
5 Just Fontaine 1953–1960 30 21 1.42
Jean-Pierre Papin 1986–1995 30 54 0.55
7 Youri Djorkaeff 1993–2002 28 82 0.34
8 Sylvain Wiltord 1999–2006 26 92 0.28
9 Jean Vincent 1953–1961 22 46 0.47
10 Jean Nicolas 1933–1938 21 25 0.84
Last updated: 22 June 2010
Source: French Football Federation


Manager France career Games Won Drawn Lost Win %
France Guérin, HenriHenri Guérin 1964–1966 15 5 4 6 33.3
FranceSpain Arribas, JoséJosé Arribas
France Snella, JeanJean Snella
1966 4 2 0 2 50.0
France Fontaine, JustJust Fontaine 1967 2 0 0 2 &00.0
France Dugauguez, LouisLouis Dugauguez 1967–1968 9 2 3 4 22.2
France Boulogne, GeorgesGeorges Boulogne 1969–1973 31 15 5 11 48.4
Romania Kovács, ȘtefanȘtefan Kovács 1973–1975 15 6 4 5 40.0
France Hidalgo, MichelMichel Hidalgo 1976–1984 75 41 16 18 54.7
France Michel, HenriHenri Michel 1984–1988 36 16 12 8 44.4
France Platini, MichelMichel Platini 1988–1992 29 16 8 5 55.2
France Houllier, GérardGérard Houllier 1992–1993 12 7 1 4 58.3
France Jacquet, AiméAimé Jacquet 1994–1998 53 34 16 3 64.2
France Lemerre, RogerRoger Lemerre 1998–2002 53 34 11 8 64.2
France Santini, JacquesJacques Santini 2002–2004 28 22 4 2 78.6
France Domenech, RaymondRaymond Domenech 2004–2010 79 41 24 14 51.9
France Blanc, LaurentLaurent Blanc 2010–2012 27 16 7 4 59.3
France Deschamps, DidierDidier Deschamps 2012– 16 8 3 5 50.0
Managers in italics were hired as caretakers

See also



External links

  • Official website (French)

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