France 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) La Sélection (The Selection)
Association Fédération Française
de Football
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Didier Deschamps
Captain Hugo Lloris
Most caps Lilian Thuram (142)
Top scorer Thierry Henry (51)
Home stadium Stade de France
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 7 Steady (24 November 2016)
Highest 1 (May 2001 – May 2002)
Lowest 27 (September 2010)
Elo ranking
Current 4 Steady (1 December 2016)
Highest 1 (most recently July 2007)
Lowest 44 (May 1928
February 1930)
First international
 Belgium 3–3 France 
(Brussels, Belgium; 1 May 1904)
Biggest win
 France 10–0 Azerbaijan 
(Auxerre, France; 6 September 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Denmark 17–1 France 
(London, England; 22 October 1908)
World Cup
Appearances 14 (first in 1930)
Best result Champions, 1998
European Championship
Appearances 9 (first in 1960)
Best result Champions, 1984 and 2000
Confederations Cup
Appearances 2 (first in 2001)
Best result Champions, 2001 and 2003

The France national football team (French: Équipe de France de football) represents France in international football. The team's colours are blue, white and red, and the coq gaulois its symbol. France are colloquially known as Les Bleus (The Blues).

France play home matches at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris. They have won one FIFA World Cup, two UEFA European Football Championships, an Olympic tournament, and two FIFA Confederations Cups. France experienced much of its success in three major : in the 1950s, 1980s, and late 1990s/early 2000s 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.[1]

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 won the FIFA World Cup in 1998. Two years later, the team triumphed at UEFA Euro 2000. France won the Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003, and reached the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which it lost 5–3 on penalties to Italy. The team also reached the final of UEFA Euro 2016, where they lost 1–0 to Portugal in extra time.

France, Argentina and Brazil are the only national teams that have won the three most important men's titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic tournament. They have also won their respective continental championship (Copa América for Argentina and Brazil, and UEFA European Championship for France).[2][3]


The multiethnic 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.[4] 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. Conversely, France also became the first team to not score in a match after losing 1–0 to fellow group stage opponents Argentina. Another loss to Chile resulted 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 6–3 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 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.

Michel Platini captained France to victory at UEFA Euro 1984.

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.[5] 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.

Didier Deschamps captained the French team that won both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.

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, such as Zinedine Zidane. 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 at home, Jacquet led France to glory defeating Brazil 3–0 in the final at the Stade de France in Paris. 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. France became the second nation to be eliminated in the first round while holding the World Cup crown, the first one being Brazil in 1966. After the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, Italy and Spain were also added to this list.[6] 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, in part down to controversial disruptions in extra time that lead to captain Zinedine Zidane being sent off, failed to find a winning goal, Italy winning 5–3 on penalties to be crowned champions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

After captaining France intermittently since 2010, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been the French captain permanently since February 2012.

France started its qualifying round for UEFA Euro 2008 strong and qualified for the tournament, despite two 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, the team continued to perform under expectations and were eliminated in the group stage, while the negative publicity the national team received during the competition led to further repercussions back in France. 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.[7][8] The resulting disagreement over Anelka's expulsion between the players, the coaching staff, and federation officials resulted in the players boycotting training before their third game.[9][10][11] In response to the training boycott, Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot lectured the players and "reduced France's disgraced World Cup stars to tears with an emotional speech on the eve of their final group A match."[12] France then lost their final game 2–1 to the hosts South Africa and did not advance. 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, at Henry's request.[13] Following the completion of the World Cup tournament, Federation President Jean-Pierre Escalettes resigned from his position.

Domenech, whose contract already expired, was succeeded as head coach by former international Laurent Blanc. 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.[14] 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.[15][16]

Euro 2012

France were drawn in Group D of UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying along with Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg. France got off to a disastrous start in their first qualifier where they surprisingly lost 0–1 to Belarus at home. However, this loss was followed by three successive wins against Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Luxembourg. France eventually topped their group, thus automatically qualifying for Euro 2012. In the finals in Poland and Ukraine, France were in Group D along with rivals England, Sweden and Ukraine. France began Euro 2012 with a 1–1 draw against England which was followed by a 2–0 win over co-hosts Ukraine. Although France lost their final group game 0–2 to Sweden, they ended second in their group and qualified for the quarter-finals, where they were beaten by eventual champions Spain. Following the tournament, coach Laurent Blanc resigned and was succeeded by Didier Deschamps who captained France to glory in the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.

2014 FIFA World Cup

France were drawn in Group I of the UEFA zone qualification for the 2014 World Cup. They were drawn alongside defending champions Spain, Finland, Belarus and Georgia. France began well, winning their first two qualifiers against Finland and Belarus. In their next qualifier against Spain in Madrid, France were heading towards a 1–0 defeat until Olivier Giroud equalised in injury time. France, however, lost their return leg against Spain, falling 0–1 at home. France ended second in Group I and would play against Ukraine in the playoffs. In the first leg at Kiev, France lost 2–0, forcing them to win the second leg by at least three goals in order to qualify. In the second leg at home, France won 3–0 thanks to a brace by Mamadou Sakho and a goal from Karim Benzema.

On leading France to the 2014 World Cup, Didier Deschamps extended his contract till UEFA Euro 2016. France were drawn in Group E of the 2014 World Cup along with Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras. Although expectations were not very high for France, they were expected to make at least the round of 16. France suffered a huge setback just before the World Cup as star midfielder Franck Ribéry would miss the tournament through injury. France started the World Cup with a 3–0 win against Honduras in which talismanic striker Karim Benzema bagged a brace. This was followed with a 5–2 thrashing of Switzerland and a goalless draw against Ecuador, which was enough for France to win the group and qualify for the knockout stages. France's round of 16 opponents were Nigeria. France won 2–0 and would set up a quarter-final clash against Germany. France were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals courtesy of an early goal by Mats Hummels. Paul Pogba was awarded the Best Young Player award during the tournament.

Euro 2016

France automatically qualified for Euro 2016 by virtue of being hosts and were considered one of the tournament favorites considering the fact that they had won the last two major tournaments which they hosted. France were drawn in Group A of the tournament alongside Romania, Switzerland and minnows Albania. France won their group with wins over Romania and Albania and a goalless draw against Switzerland and were poised to face Ireland in the round of 16. Ireland took the lead after just two minutes through a controversially awarded penalty which was converted by Robbie Brady. However, a brace from Antoine Griezmann helped France to win the match 2–1 and qualify for the quarter-finals where they beat a resilient Iceland 5–2 to set up a semi-final clash against World Champions and tournament co-favorites Germany. France won the match 2–0 and this marked their first win over Germany at a major tournament since 1958. However, France were beaten by Portugal 1–0 in the final courtesy of an extra-time goal by Eder. Griezmann was named the Player of the Tournament and was also awarded the Golden Boot in addition to being named in the Team of the Tournament alongside Dimitri Payet. The defeat meant that France became the second nation to lose the final of a European Championship on home soil after Portugal failed to secure the title in 2004.

Home stadium

The Stade de France opened in 1998

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. Twice France have played home matches in a French overseas department – in 2005 against Costa Rica in Fort-de-France (Martinique) and in 2010 against China in Saint Denis (Réunion). Both matches were friendlies.

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, including the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final.

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.

In the 20th and 23rd minute of an international friendly on 13 November 2015, against Germany, three groups of terrorists attempted to detonate bomb vests, at three entrances of Stade de France, and two explosions occurred. Play would continue, until the 94th minute, in order to keep the crowd from panicking. Consequently, the stadium was evacuated through the unaffected gates of the stadium away from the players benches. Due to the blocked exits, spectators who could not leave the stadium had to go down to the pitch and wait until it was safer.

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.[17] 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.[18]


France's Zinedine Zidane number 10 home shirt, as made by Adidas.

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 tricolore. 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 (similar setup to Japan), 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.[19]

Beginning in 1966, France had its shirts made by Le Coq Sportif until 1971. 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.[20] 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 (1 January 2011 – 9 July 2018).

Nike-made France merchandise on display for UEFA Euro 2016

Making France's blue shirt the most expensive ever in the history of football.[21][22] 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.[23] In February 2013, Nike revealed an all baby blue change strip.

In advance of France's hosting Euro 2016, Nike unveiled a new, unconventional kit set: blue shirts and shorts with red socks at home, white shirts and shorts and with blue socks away. The away shirt as worn in pre-Euro friendlies and released to the public also featured one blue sleeve and one red sleeve in reference to the "tricolore"; however, due to UEFA regulations, France was forced to wear a special third kit featuring off-white sleeves instead in its Euro 2016 group stage game against Switzerland.[24]

Period Kit providers
1966–1971 Le Coq Sportif
1972–2010 Adidas
2011–at least 2018 Nike


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.[25]

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, 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.[26] 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.[27] 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 Zinedine 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.[28] In 2005, French-Jewish conservative writer Alain Finkielkraut caused controversy by punning 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.[29]

The socio-ethnic divide between the public and the team reached a climax during the 2010 World Cup. The team was qualified despite the captain handled the qualifying goal with his hands. Once in South Africa, the team didn't manage to score a goal in their first two matches, leaving almost no chance of going through save an exceptional win over hosts South Africa. Thereafter, the players went on strike because of what they saw as mismanagement of the Nicolas Anelka case. Anelka had been forced to depart after a slur that leaked to the press. Players said he was misquoted, and complained of the alleged leaker from the staff, the media, and the federation. Instead of training, coach Raymond Domenech read the players' petition live on television to the stunned journalists. Some Sarkozy-Fillon government members described the mutiny as banlieue behavior, and the players as racaille, words which have clear ethnic connotations.

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.

In April 2011, the 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.[30] 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".[31] The federation also announced that it had authorized a full investigation into the matter and, as a result, suspended National Technical Director François Blaquart pending the outcome of the investigation.[32] 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 comments allegedly made by manager Laurent Blanc at the meeting were "serious and scandalous". The French government also weighed in on the issue, as 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". Following the investigation, Blanc was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Coaching staff

Didier Deschamps, the current manager of the France national football team.
As of 12 August 2012.[33]
Position Name
Manager Didier Deschamps
Assistant manager Guy Stéphan
Goalkeeper coach Franck Raviot
Doctor Franck Le Gall


Current squad

The following 23 players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification and Friendly matches against Sweden and Ivory Coast on 11 and 15 November respectively.[34]
Caps and goals as of 15 November 2016 after the match against Ivory Coast.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Hugo Lloris (Captain) (1986-12-26) 26 December 1986 85 0 England Tottenham Hotspur
23 1GK Benoît Costil (1987-07-03) 3 July 1987 1 0 France Rennes

2 2DF Sébastien Corchia (1990-11-01) 1 November 1990 1 0 France Lille
3 2DF Patrice Evra (1981-05-15) 15 May 1981 81 0 Italy Juventus
4 2DF Raphaël Varane (Vice-captain) (1993-04-25) 25 April 1993 35 2 Spain Real Madrid
5 2DF Adil Rami (1985-12-27) 27 December 1985 33 1 Spain Sevilla
17 2DF Lucas Digne (1993-07-20) 20 July 1993 15 0 Spain Barcelona
19 2DF Djibril Sidibé (1992-07-29) 29 July 1992 6 0 France Monaco
21 2DF Laurent Koscielny (1985-09-10) 10 September 1985 42 1 England Arsenal
22 2DF Eliaquim Mangala (1991-02-13) 13 February 1991 8 0 Spain Valencia

6 3MF Paul Pogba (1993-03-15) 15 March 1993 44 8 England Manchester United
8 3MF Dimitri Payet (1987-03-29) 29 March 1987 32 8 England West Ham United
13 3MF N'Golo Kanté (1991-03-29) 29 March 1991 13 1 England Chelsea
14 3MF Blaise Matuidi (1987-04-09) 9 April 1987 55 8 France Paris Saint-Germain
15 3MF Adrien Rabiot (1995-04-03) 3 April 1995 1 0 France Paris Saint-Germain
18 3MF Moussa Sissoko (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 50 1 England Tottenham Hotspur

9 4FW Olivier Giroud (1986-09-30) 30 September 1986 59 21 England Arsenal
10 4FW Kévin Gameiro (1987-05-09) 9 May 1987 12 3 Spain Atlético Madrid
11 4FW Ousmane Dembélé (1997-05-15) 15 May 1997 3 0 Germany Borussia Dortmund
12 4FW Nabil Fekir (1993-07-18) 18 July 1993 7 1 France Lyon
20 4FW Thomas Lemar (1995-11-12) 12 November 1995 1 0 France Monaco

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 Steve Mandanda (1985-03-28) 28 March 1985 24 0 England Crystal Palace v.  Ivory Coast, 15 November 2016 INJ
GK Alphonse Areola (1993-02-27) 27 February 1993 0 0 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Sweden, 11 November 2016 INJ

DF Layvin Kurzawa (1992-09-04) 4 September 1992 6 1 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Sweden, 11 November 2016 INJ
DF Samuel Umtiti (1993-11-14) 14 November 1993 4 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Sweden, 11 November 2016 INJ
DF Aymeric Laporte (1994-05-27) 27 May 1994 0 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao v.  Netherlands, 10 October 2016
DF Presnel Kimpembe (1995-08-13) 13 August 1995 0 0 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Netherlands, 10 October 2016
DF Bacary Sagna (1983-02-14) 14 February 1983 65 0 England Manchester City v.  Bulgaria, 7 October 2016 INJ
DF Jérémy Mathieu RET (1983-10-29) 29 October 1983 5 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Bulgaria, 7 October 2016
DF Christophe Jallet (1983-10-31) 31 October 1983 11 1 France Lyon UEFA Euro 2016
DF Mamadou Sakho (1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 28 2 England Liverpool UEFA Euro 2016 PRE

MF Yohan Cabaye (1986-01-14) 14 January 1986 48 4 England Crystal Palace v.  Netherlands, 10 October 2016
MF Geoffrey Kondogbia (1993-02-15) 15 February 1993 5 0 Italy Internazionale v.  Belarus, 6 September 2016
MF Morgan Schneiderlin (1989-11-08) 8 November 1989 15 0 England Manchester United UEFA Euro 2016
MF Lassana Diarra (1985-03-10) 10 March 1985 34 0 France Marseille UEFA Euro 2016 INJ

FW Antoine Griezmann (1991-03-21) 21 March 1991 39 14 Spain Atlético Madrid v.  Ivory Coast, 15 November 2016 INJ
FW Kingsley Coman (1996-06-13) 13 June 1996 11 1 Germany Bayern Munich v.  Sweden, 11 November 2016 INJ
FW André-Pierre Gignac (1985-12-05) 5 December 1985 36 7 Mexico UANL v.  Netherlands, 10 October 2016
FW Anthony Martial (1995-12-05) 5 December 1995 15 1 England Manchester United v.  Netherlands, 10 October 2016
FW Alexandre Lacazette (1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 10 1 France Lyon v.  Italy, 1 September 2016 INJ
FW Hatem Ben Arfa (1987-03-07) 7 March 1987 15 2 France Paris Saint-Germain UEFA Euro 2016 PRE

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad / standby
RET Retired from international football
SUS Suspended from national team

Results and fixtures



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

France was one of the four European teams that participated at the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and have appeared in 14 FIFA World Cups, tied for sixth-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.[35][36]

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D* L GF GA
Uruguay 1930Group stage7th310243Qualified as invitees
Italy 1934Round 19th100123110061
France 1938Quarter-finals6th210144Qualified as hosts
Brazil 1950Withdrew302145
Switzerland 1954Group stage11th2101334400204
Sweden 1958Third place3rd640223154310194
Chile 1962Did not qualify5302104
England 1966Group stage13th301225650192
Mexico 1970Did not qualify420264
West Germany 1974411235
Argentina 1978Group stage12th310255421174
Spain 1982Fourth place4th732216128503208
Mexico 1986Third place3rd74211268512154
Italy 1990Did not qualify8332107
United States 1994106131710
France 1998Champions1st7610152Qualified as hosts
South Korea Japan 2002Group stage28th301203Qualified as defending champions
Germany 2006Runners-up2nd74309310550142
South Africa 2010Group stage29th301214127412010
Brazil 2014Quarter-finals7th531110310622188
Total1 Title14/20592812191067110158212219882

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 nine UEFA European Championship tournaments, 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 Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D* L GF GA
France 1960 Fourth place 4th 2 0 0 2 4 7 4 3 1 0 17 6
Spain 1964 Did not qualify62131110
Italy 196884221612
Belgium 19726312108
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976613276
Italy 19808411137
France 1984 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 14 4 Qualified as hosts
West Germany 1988 Did not qualify814347
Sweden 1992 Group stage 6th 3 0 2 1 2 3 8 8 0 0 20 6
England 1996 Semi-finals 4th 5 2 3 0 5 2 10 5 5 0 22 2
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Champions 1st 6 5 0 1 13 7 10 6 3 1 17 10
Portugal 2004 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 1 1 7 5 8 8 0 0 29 2
Austria Switzerland 2008 Group stage 15th 3 0 1 2 1 6 12 8 2 2 25 5
Poland Ukraine 2012 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 1 2 3 5 10 6 3 1 15 4
France 2016 Runners-up 2nd 7 5 1 1 13 5 Qualified as hosts
Total 2 Titles 9/15 39 20 9 10 62 44 102 59 26 17 206 85

FIFA Confederations Cup record

France have appeared in two of the eight 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 four. 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 as the host country, 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[37]
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
Total 2 Titles 2/9 10 9 0 1 24 5

Minor tournaments

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Belgium 1904 Évence Coppée Trophy Co-Winners 1st101033
Brazil 1972 Brazilian Independence CupGroup stage8th4310102
France 1985 Artemio Franchi TrophyWinners110020
France 1988 Tournoi de FranceWinners 1st220042
Kuwait 1990 Kuwait TournamentWinners1st220040
Japan 1994 Kirin CupWinners1st220051
France 1997 Tournoi de FranceGroup stage 3rd302134
Morocco 1998 King Hassan II International Cup TournamentWinners 1st211032
Morocco 2000 King Hassan II International Cup TournamentWinners 1st211073
South Africa 2000 Nelson Mandela Inauguration Challenge CupCo-Winners 101000
Total8 titles2012714117
*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

Olympic football tournament

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

UEFA European Championship

FIFA Confederations Cup

Competition 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) Total
World Cup 1 1 2 4
European Championship 2 1 0 3
Confederations Cup 2 0 0 2
Olympic Games 1 1 0 2
Total 6 3 2 11

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

Lilian Thuram is the most capped player in the history of France with 142 caps.
  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: 14 October 2014
Source: French Football Federation

Top goalscorers

Thierry Henry is the top scorer in the history of France with 51 goals.
# Player Career Goals Caps Average
1 Thierry Henry (list) 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 (list) 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 Karim Benzema 2007–present 27 81 0.33
9 Sylvain Wiltord 1999–2006 26 92 0.28
10 Jean Vincent 1953–1961 22 46 0.47

Last updated: 14 October 2014
Source: French Football Federation


Manager France career Games Won Drawn Lost Win %
France Guérin, HenriHenri Guérin 1964–1966 15 5 4 6 33.3
Spain 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, IstvánIstván 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 1993–1998 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–present 57 35 10 12 61.4
Managers in italics were hired as caretakers

See also


  1. The other two being United States (withdrawing in 1938 without actually playing any match) and Brazil (reaching the finals tournament each time).
  2. "– France on". FIFA. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  3. "– Tournaments". FIFA. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  4. "France v. Belgium 1904 Match Report". French Football Federation. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  5. "France v. Germany 1982 Match Report". French Football Federation. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  6. Krishnan, Joe (18 June 2014). "World Cup 2014: Spain and the World Cup holders who crashed out at the group stage". The Independent. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  7. "Communiqué de la Fédération". French Football Federation. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  8. "World Cup 2010: Nicolas Anelka sent home after bust-up". The Guardian. UK. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  9. "French football in chaos after players' mutiny". Agence France Press. Google. 20 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  10. "Brazil advances, Italy held to another WCup draw". Google. Associated Press. 20 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  11. "Communiqué de la FFF". French Football Federation. France Football Federation. 20 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  12. Kim Willsher (23 June 2010). "Sarkozy to quiz Thierry Henry over French World Cup fiasco". The Guardian. UK.
  13. "France World Cup squad suspended for Norway friendly". BBC Sport. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  14. "Nicolas Anelka laughs at 'nonsense' 18-match French ban". BBC Sport. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  15. Davies, Lizzy (17 August 2010). "Nicolas Anelka suspended for 18 matches by France over World Cup revolt". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  16. "TF1, diffuseur exclusif des matches de l'Equi...". Investegate. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  17. "TF1 restera le diffuseur de l'équipe de France de football entre 2010 et 2014.". Sport24. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  18. Murray, Scott (21 May 2010). "The Joy of Six: Things we miss about the World Cup". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  19. "FIFA World Cup 2006 Knock Out Stages". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  20. "Nike prochain équipementier". L'Equipe. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  21. "You Are All Invited to the France-Nike Wedding, the Couple is Registered for €320m". Soccer Lens. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  22. "2012 UEFA European Football Championship". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  24. "One-On-One: Michel Platini". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  25. Marcotti, Gabriele (1 March 2010). "Wider view of France '98 gives Emmanuel Petit opportunity to look back in anger". The Times. UK. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  26. "France's multicultural World Cup-winning team (1998) achieved little for integration". United for Peace of Pierce County. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  27. "The Sword is Mightier than Le Pen". ESPN. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  28. "Finkielkraut sur Europe 1". Le Nouvel Observateur. France. 25 November 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2005.
  29. "French football body to investigate 'race quota' claim". BBC. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  30. "Le DTN suspendu de ses fonctions" (in French). French Football Federation. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  31. "Précision de la FFF" (in French). French Football Federation. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  32. "Le staff des Bleus". French Football Federation (in French). 5 August 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  33. "Dernière sélection". 3 November 2016.
  34. "Senegal stun France". British Broadcasting Corporation. 31 May 2002. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  35. "Dismal France eliminated from World Cup". Cable News Network. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  36. As 1998 FIFA World Cup Champions
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