Top 10 France FIFA Ranking Football Players Of All Time

10. Laurent Blanc (1989-2000, 16 goals)

Without Laurent Blanc, who would kiss the goalkeeper’s head, we couldn’t have Barthez on this list. Blanc, an imposing defender, continued to play an important role in the French lineup long into his 30s.

Not bad for someone who retired in 1994. Fortunately for the French people, Aime Jacquet was able to persuade Blanc to come out of retirement and began to assemble a new squad with Blanc as one of its pillars.

9. Lilian Thuram (1994-2008, 2 goals)

The fact that the finest player in French history also has the most caps is not a coincidence. Thuram played a significant role in the French national team’s heyday, contributing his two goals for his country in the 1998 World Cup semifinal.

In addition, he participated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, the European Championships in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, when he made a record 16 appearances.

8. Didier Deschamps (1989-2000, 4 goals)

Former teammate Eric Cantona famously referred to Didier Deschamps as the “water-carrier.” Although this remark was perceived as disparaging, it accurately described Deschamps’ contribution to the squad. The “better” players receive the ball when you win it.

It was a task that was really important. Deschamps was chosen as the French team’s captain for the 1998 World Cup, where he won the trophy for France for the first time, and the 2000 European Championships.

7. Eric Cantona (1987-1995, 20 goals)

One of two responses to this location is what I’m anticipating: either wonder that I put him so high or shock that I put him so low. Both arguments are convincing.

There are players below Cantona who have contributed more to international football than he has, but this list also considers the player’s overall quality, and it is in this category that Cantona starts to move up the ranks once again.

6. Jean-Pierre Papin (1986-1995, 30 goals)

Similar to Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin was sandwiched between two of French football’s heydays, therefore it is surprising Les Bleus didn’t fare better with a front two as talented as Papin and Cantona.

His club record is much greater than his international record; he won the coveted Ballon d’Or in 1991 and led Ligue 1 in scoring for five straight seasons.

5. Thierry Henry (1997-Present, 51 goals)

It’s likely that the handball that kept Ireland from qualifying for the World Cup this summer will forever define Thierry Henry’s international career, which would be a tragedy since it would erase a very fantastic career.

Henry participated in the winning teams at the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000 tournaments. He also helped France win the Confederations Cup in 2003 and the World Cup in 2006.

4. Just Fontaine (1953-1960, 30 goals)

The 1958 World Cup goal total of 13 by only Fontaine is legendary. The perhaps best goal scorer in history, Gerd Muller, had to wait two World Cups to surpass it, while Ronaldo, another of the greatest players to ever lace on a pair of boots, had to wait four World Cups.

These are the only players who, as of this writing, have scored more goals at the World Cup than Fontaine. His 1958 effort, which included a four-goal haul against the reigning champions West Germany, may very well rank as the best individual World Cup performance in history.

3. Raymond Kopa (1952-1962, 18 goals)

At two successive World Cups, in 1954 and 1958, respectively, Raymond Kopa is the only player to have earned both the Young Player of the Tournament and Player of the Tournament titles.

The 1958 prize is the most spectacular since he had to defeat Pele, Garrincha, and colleague Just Fontaine to win it. Later that year, as a result of his World Cup performances, he won the Ballon d’Or.

2. Michel Platini (1976-1987, 41 goals)

Whatever your opinion of Michel Platini today, he was one of the most talented players to ever walk foot on a football pitch in his heyday. He had some of the best passing, shooting, and dead-ball abilities in the history of the sport.

With the aid of these talents, the French magician led his nation to semi-final appearances at two successive World Cups, in 1982 and 1986, but the 1984 European Championships was his pinnacle.

Platini led Les Bleus to their first ever international victory with nine goals, two of which were flawless hat-tricks. Platini’s domination was highlighted by his selection as the Player of the Tournament and leading scorer individually.

1. Zinedine Zidane (1994-2006, 31 goals)

He was a magician, an artist, and the epitome of his class. Zidane has been France’s shining star, from his two legendary headers in the 1998 World Cup final that sent his nation into joyful euphoria to his much more notorious header in the 2006 final that plunged the same nation into sorrow.

Due to Cantona’s extended suspension, Zidane was given the opportunity to play for France, and he never looked back. He utterly outperformed his adversary Ronaldo in the 1998 World Cup final, scoring twice to help France defeat Brazil 3-0. He then scored the game-winning goal in the Euro 2000 semifinal, which France eventually won.

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