Tuesday, October 14, 2014

France Greatest All-Time 23 member Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   This entry of his was written in October 21, 2020, but mine was uploaded in a few weeks before his 2020.   Another entry of his was written in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

World Cup 1998

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
South France
Players born in the Overeseas Department and former French Colonies
French Black Players 
French Algerian
French Players Capped by Other National Teams
France at USA 1994
Parisian nation team in World Cup 2018

France holds a significant place in football history, being a founding member of both FIFA and UEFA. They were also responsible for organizing the inaugural European Championship. Notably, France achieved the distinction of being the first national team to win the three major men's titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic tournament, following their victory in the Confederations Cup in 2001.

The French team has experienced two highly successful periods in their history. From 1982 to 1986, they claimed the European Championship in 1984 and reached the semifinals of both the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. Their triumph continued in 1998 when "Les Bleus" secured their first World Cup title, which was followed by another European Championship victory in 2000. France further solidified their dominance by winning their second World Cup in 2018, held in Russia. Notably, France showcased an exceptional team during the 1958 World Cup Finals, where they secured a remarkable third-place finish. Just Fontaine's incredible 13-goal tally and Raymond Kopa winning the Ballon d'Or were standout moments from that tournament.This is my all-time team for France. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

France winning Euro 1984

GK:  Julien Darui
In 1999, Julien Darui was elected best French goalkeeper of the century by L'Équipe.  Born in Luxembourg, he was capped 25 times for France. He started his career at Olympique Charleville. He then played at Olympique Lille and Red Star Olympique, with whom he won the Coupe de France in 1942.  He later played with Lille OSC and CO Roubaix-Tourcoing, where he won the League title in 1947. He finished his career as a coach-player at CORT and then at SO Montpellier.

GK: Fabien Barthez
Fabien Barthez is France's most decorated goalkeeper.  He had 87 caps for "Les Bleus".   He won the World Cup in 1998 at home and then, the European Championship two years later. Barthez is France's most capped player in the FIFA World Cup, with 17 appearances at the finals.  For domestic football, he played with Toulouse, Marseille, AS Monaco, Manchester United and Nantes.  He also won Champions League medal with Marseille in 1993.  
Fabien Barthez
GK:  Pierre Chayrigues
The youngest ever keeper capped by France when he was first capped in 1911. He was part of the French squad at the 1924 Summer Olympics. He started with JAS Levallois at the age of thirteen. He joined the Red Star in 1911.  He was credited as the first French goalie to leave his line to stop the opponents.  It was reported that Tottenham Hotspur tried to sign him  in 1913, but he stayed with Red Stars. 

RB/LB:  Manuel Amoros
Amoros is widely considered to be France's greatest fullback.  He was a part of the Golden Generation of the 1980's.  He played 82 times for France.  He played in the European Championships Finals of 1984 and 1992, winning the 1984 version.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.  He won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993, but also losing the one in 1991. He also played for Monaco and Lyons.

RB/CB:  Lilian Thuram
Lilian Thuram is France's most capped player.  He was known for his strength, pace and stamina.  He played at the top flight in France, Italy and Spain for over 15 seasons, including ten in the Serie A with both Parma and Juventus. He also played for Barcelona. With France, Thuram won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and was in the runner-up squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  He scored two goals vs Croatia in the semifinal of the World Cup in 1998. 
Thuram vs Croatia
CB:  Marius Tresor
Marius Tresor was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.  He had 65 caps between 1971 and 1983.  He was the French captain before Michele Platini's arrival. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1978 and 1982.  In 1982, he scored one of the extra time goal against West Germany at the semifinal. He also played for Olympique de Marseille and Girondins de Bordeaux.

CB:  Robert Jonquet
Robert Jonquet played with the legendary Stade de Reims in the 1950's with Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine.  He reached the final of the European Cup twice, but lost to Real madrid on both occasions. He had 58 caps.  He was also the captain of the French national team during that era, and went to the 1954 and 1958 World Cup Finals. In a friendly match against England in 1951, he earned the nickname  "The Hero of Highbury".

CB/DM:  Marcel Desailly
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's.  At the international level, he played 116 times for France, winning the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship two years later in 2000.  At the club level, he was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year. He also played for Nantes and Chelsea, among others.
Marcel Desailly
CB/LB:  Maxime Bossis
Maxime Bossis was a key player during France's Golden Generation of the 1980's.  He was named Footballer of the Year by France Football in 1979 and 1981.  He won the European Championship in 1984.  He went to the World Cup in both 1978, 1982 and 1986.  From 1985 to 1992, he held the French record of caps,  He was a star of the great Nantes team of the 1980's. He played for RC Paris between two stints with Nantes. 

LB: Bixente Lizarazu
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French team of 1990's and early 2000's.  He won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He had 97 caps. Lizarazu began his professional career with Girondins de Bordeaux, but better known for playing with Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and he also played for Atletico Bilbao between 1996 and 1997.

DM:  Didier Deschamps
Didier Deschamps was only the second player in history to captain his team to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  He started his career with Nantes in 1985. The prime of his career was spent with Marseille (1989 to 1994) and Juventus (1994 to 1999), where he won a Champions League for both club.  He earned 103 caps between 1989 and 2000, and was the captain of 1998 World Cup winning team for France.
Didier Deschamps
CM: Jean Tigana
Jean Tigana played 52 times for France between 1980 and 1988. He was a member of the great French side of the 1980's.  He won the Euro 1984 playing in the famous "Magic Square" alongside Michele Platini and Alain Giresse. He also went to the 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals. He played with Bordeaux for eight years, winning three league titles and three French Cups.  He also spent time with Toulon, Lyon and Marseille.

CM: Alain Giresse
Alain Giresse was the French footballer of the year in 1982, 1983 and 1987. He was part of the "Magic Square" alongside Michel Platini, Luis Fernández and Jean Tigana that won the European Cup in 1984.  He also played in the WC finals in 1982 and 1986.  For his club career, he played with Tigana at Bordeaux, a side that dominated French football in that period. He also played with Mariselle.

CM: Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira started his career with Cannes. He is an Arsenal all-time great where he played from 1996 to 2005.  He won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.  In England. he was famous for his rivalry with Roy Keane.  He later played with Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City. With "Les Bleus", he won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000.  He earned 107 caps between 1997 and 2009.

AM: Michel Platini
Michel Platini is one of the greatest footballers of all time.  He played 72 times for France. He scored 9 of France's 14 goals as they won the European Championship in 1984 at home.  It was probably the greatest individual performance in a tournament.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985.  With Juventus, he won the European Cup in 1985, the first ever for the club. He started with Nancy and was a member of the famous team with AS Saint-Etienne.
Michel Platini at Euro 1984
AM/RW: Raymond Kopa 
Kopa was considered to be "Les Bleus"'s greatest player before the emerge of Michel Platini. In 1970, he became the first football player to receive the Légion d'honneur. He helped France to finish third at the WC Finals in 1958. He won the the European Footballer of the Year in 1958 and won three European Cups with Real Madrid in the 1950's.  He also played with Stade de Reims before joining the legendary Real Madrid team of the 1950's. He won the 1953 Latin Cup with Reims.  His full name was Raymond Kopaszewsk.  

AM: Zinedine Zidane

Zidane was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, and has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.  He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.  He led France to victory at  the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  With Real Madrid, he also won the Champions League in 2002, where he scored one of the greatest goals in history at the Final.  He also had a famous career with Juventus.
Zinedine Zidane
RW/LW: Franck Ribery
Franck Ribery is one of the best French players of his generation.  Individually, Ribéry is a three-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and has also won the German Footballer of the Year becoming the first player to hold both honours.  At the club level, he won the Champions' League in 2013 with Bayern Munich. He played in two World Cup Finals and helping France to a 2nd place in 2006. He played 81 times for France.

FW/LWF: Kylian Mbappé 
Mbappe was a well-known youth player in France before making his senior debut with AS Monaco in 2015.  He quickly established himself as one of the best young players in the world.  In the summer of 2017, Monaco sent him to Paris St Germain on loan for a buyout option of around €180 million at the end of the loan. In 2017, he made his national team debut, becoming the second youngest ever French international.
Kylian Mbappé
With Lille OSC (1950–1956), Vincnet won Ligue 1 champion in 1954 and the Coupe de France in 1953 and 1955.  From 1956 to 1964, he played for Stade Reims, winning Ligue 1 champion in 1958, 1960 and 1962, and Coupe de France in 1958. He earned 46 caps and scored 22 goals for the France national football team, and played and scored in the 1954 World Cup, the 1958 World Cup, and the 1960 European Football Championship.

FW:  Theirry Henry
Thierry Henry is the all-time leading scorer for both Arsenal and France.  He was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, and the FWA Footballer of the Year three times. He started with AS Monaco in 1994. The, he spent 8 seasons with Arsenal, where he enjoyed the peak of his career. He also played for Juventus, Barcelona and NY Red Bulls. He earned 123 caps and was a part of France's Golden Team form 1998 to 2002.
Thierry Henry
ST:  Just Fontaine
Fontaine was born in French Morocco.  He is the record holder for most goals scored in a single edition of the World Cup.  He scored 13 goals in 6 matches in the 1958 WC Finals in Sweden.  He won 21 caps scoring 30 goals. He started with RSM Casablanca and Nice before starring for Stade de Reims of the 1950's. With Reims, he played with Raymond Kopa and was considered one of the greatest ever French club side.

ST: Karim Benzema (France)
Karim Benzema made his name with Lyon.  In 2009, he moved to Real Madrid where he won 5 Champions League. Over there, he formed the BBC line with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.  In 2022, he was Real Madrid's best player as they won the Champions' League and La Liga Double. He won the Ballon D'or in 2022. For the national team, he played in the 2014 World Cup Finals as well as Euro 2020. He had 97 caps while winning the Nations League in 2021.
Karim Benzema
Honorable Mention
Julien Darui, Bernard Lama, François Remetter, Patrice Evra, Larbi Benbarek, Roger Marche, William Gallas, Laurent Blanc, Patrick Battiston, Luis Fernandez, Claude Makelele, Youri Djorkaeff, Patrice Evra, Hugo Lloris, Joel Bats, Bernard Lama, Dominique Rocheteau, Roger Piantoni, David Trezeguet, Bernard Bosquier, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Paul Pogba, Emmanuel Petit, Raphaël Varane, Patrick Battiston, Eric Cantona, Basile Boli, N'Golo Kante, Emmanuel Petit, Jean Vincent, Karim Benzema, Eric Abidal, Willy Sagnol.

Squad Explanation
-- In October 2021, I completely redid this team, but no change were made.  I am waiting to see if I should include Kylian Mbappé or N'Golo Kante.
-- Raymond Kopa, Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini are the three greatest ever French players.  Thierry Henry, Manuel Amoros, Marcel Desailly and Lillian Thuram are also automatic selections.
-- The IFFHS created an All-Time France Dream Team. The lineup includes Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly, Maxime Bossis, Didier Deschamps, Jean Tigana, Michel Platini, Zinédine Zidane, Raymond Kopa, and Thierry Henry. The substitutes for Team B are Joël Bats, Manuel Amoros, Robert Jonquet, Marius Trésor, Bixente Lizarazu, Patrick Vieira, Luis Fernández, Youri Djorkaeff, Alain Giresse, Just Fontaine, and Jean-Pierre Papin. Team C's substitutes consist of Hugo Lloris, Gérard Janvion, Patrick Battiston, Basile Boli, Roger Marche, Claude Makélélé, N'Golo Kanté, Henri Michel, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, and Frank Ribery.
-- Fox Sport created their own All-Time Best XI.  The players were
Julien Darui, Lilian Thuram, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly, Bixente Lizarazu, Deschamps, Jean Tigana, Michel Platini, Zinédine Zidane, Raymond Kopa, and Just Fontaine.
-- "L'Équipe" conducted a vote in 2020 for France's All-Time Best XI.  The result was as followed: Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly, Bixente Lizarazu, Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Michel Platini, Zinédine Zidane, Kylian Mbappe and Thierry Henry.
-- France reached the 1958 World Cup semifinal in Sweden.  Raymond Kopa would win the Ballon d'or that year for his performance,  Just Fontaine scored 14 goals in 6 matches.  Robert Jonquet was also selected into this team.  They were drawing Brazil 1-1 when Jonquet was injured on the 38th minute of the semi-final.  France was forced to play with him as a passenger for the rest of the game.  If France had 11 healthy men on the field, Brazil might not have beaten France 5-2.
France 1958 World Cup
-- France also had a strong run in the 1980's.  Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Manuel Amoros, Maxime Bossis and Alan Giresse won the European Championship in 1984.  Marius Tresor played in the 1982 World Cup Finals while Jean Pierre Papin was on the 1986 World cup team.
-- The greatest period of French football was the period between 1998 and 2000, where France won the 1998 World Cup followed by the Euro 2000.  Zinedine Zidane, Fabien Barthez, Lillian Thuram, Bixente Lizarazu, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Didier Deschamps and Patrick Vieira made this all-time team.
-- After the World Cup victory in 2018, I added Hugo Lloris, N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Raphaël Varane and Kylian Mbappé to honourable mention.  
-- In 1999, Julien Darui was bestowed with the honor of being elected the best French goalkeeper of the century by L'Équipe, a testament to his exceptional skills. However, when it comes to accolades and achievements, Fabien Barthez stands as France's most decorated goalkeeper. It is worth noting that Barthez's career was not without its critics, particularly due to occasional lapses in his performance. While I personally did not rate him as highly, it is evident that many people hold a different opinion. Consequently, I made the popular decision to include Barthez in the team, considering the trophies he won for France.
-- I struggled with the third goalkeeping position. Pierre Chayrigues was France's first goalkeeping star.  Joël Bats had some memorial games such as saving two penalties against Brazil in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal. He also helped France to win Euro 1984. Lloris is now the most capped goalkeeper for France.  His blooper that led to a Croatia's goal in the 2018 World Cup did not cause France the title, and it did not really affect his reputation.  Perhaps, he should be the third goalkeeper. I also came upon François Remetter from the 1950's.  Georges Carnus was an all-timer with Saint-Étienne.  For France, however, he gave up 31 goals in just 36 games.  In the end, I stayed with Pierre Chayrigues.
-- I only picked 7 defenders for the team.  Lillian Thuram and Maxime Bossis can cover both the centre back and fullback positions. 
-- Manuel Amoros made his mark on the international stage at a young age, as he was just 20 years old during the 1982 World Cup Finals. Unfortunately, a red card against Denmark in Euro 1984 limited his contribution to France's success in that tournament. However, Amoros made a strong comeback in 1986, where he excelled as a left-back  this time and was recognized as the best in his position at the World Cup Finals. He was also honored as France's Player of the Year. On the other hand, Lilian Thuram holds the distinction of being the most capped player in the history of the France national team. Despite primarily being a defensive player, Thuram managed to score two crucial goals in the 1998 World Cup semi-final against Croatia, leading France to a 2-1 victory. Apart from his achievements on the field, Thuram is also known for his intellectual pursuits, having authored the thought-provoking book "La pensée blanche" (How Racial Bias Is Constructed and How to Move Beyond It).  Willy Sagnol was behind them. 
-- While Patrice Evra and Eric Abidal were serious contenders for the left-back position, I ultimately chose Bixente Lizarazu as my starter due to his impressive accomplishments. Lizarazu's decorated career included 97 caps, and he was an integral part of a formidable defensive unit. Roger Marche certainly earned his place among the greatest left-backs in Europe. However, given the versatility of Manuel Amoros and Maxime Bossis, who could adeptly cover the left-back position, I felt it unnecessary to include a backup specifically for that role. Instead, I opted to prioritize another attacker for added offensive prowess (as mentioned below).
-- Before the 1980's, Robert Jonquet was considered the greatest ever defender in France.  He was largely forgotten outside of France.  He was a cultured defender at a time when defenders were only meant to defend. He was the captain of the Stade de Reims team, twice beaten by Real Madrid in the final of the European Cup.  In the 1958 World Cup Finals, he was injured during the game against Brazil.  He was forced to stay on the field as no substitute was allowed in 1950's.
-- Marius Tresor might have surpass Robert Jonquet by the 1980's.  The "France Football" magazine named him 6th on France Player of the Century. He was named French Player of the Year in 1972.  He captained France at the 1978 World Cup Finals.  
Marius Tresor
-- As of today, Marcel Desailly was probably France's greatest defender.  His career with France and club football spoke for itself. At the time of his retirement, he was France's most capped player.
-- Maxime Bossis? He was the most underrated French defender.  If you looked carefully at the 1986 World Cup Finals, he was easily the best defender even ahead of the more famous Manuel Amoros.  He held the French record of cap until Amoros broke it in 1992.  He also played leftback, which I mentioned above would freed a space for another player upfield.  So I took him over Laurent Blanc and Patrick Battiston.  Laurent Blanc was known for his partnership with Fabien Barthez.  He was voted the 4th greatest French player of the Century by "France Football".  However, I always ranked the four central defenders ahead of him, and Bossis could play as a leftback.
-- Raphaël VaraneWilliam Gallas and Patrick Battiston also made honorable mentions.  People tended to forget that Battiston was a top defender in the 1980's, but only remembered  him for his incident with Toni Schumacher.  What if he scored against West Germany with that play? He might have became a legend in France.
-- Eric Cantona did not show much respect toward Didier Deschamps.  He called him a "water carrier".  However, Deschamps was the second player in history to captain his team to lift the three big trophies, namely the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  He might not be on my automatic selections, but it is hard to ignore his achievements. Otherwise, I would have selected Luis Fernandez, Claude Makelele or N'Golo Kante over him. 
-- In England, the rivalry between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira was a talking point for a generation. Vieira was one of the greatest ever central midfielders ever graced the Premiership.
-- Alain Giresse posed a dilemma due to the abundance of exceptional midfielders in France's talent pool. The question arose whether Larbi Benbarek should be chosen instead. Nevertheless, I opted for Giresse because of the seamless partnership he formed with Michel Platini and Jean Tigana. He was a different type of midfielders from Platini, Zidane, and Kopa. I want to keep the "Magic Square" intact, but Luis Fernandez, the final member of the "Magic Square" missed out because of Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira and Didier Deschamps.  Nonetheless, Jean Tigana played a pivotal role in France's triumph at the 1984 European Championship.
-- The defensive midfield position was very strong.  Emmanuel Petit, Claude Makelele and N'Golo Kante were also serious candidates for defensive midfielders.
-- Paul Pogba's career at Manchester United has counted against him, despite being the hero of the 2018 World Cup team. I actually rated N'Golo Kante higher than Pogba. Kante was the PFA Player of the Year in 2017. He was a key player as France won the World Cup in 2018 and followed by Chelsea's victory in the 2021 Champions' League. I do believe he deserved a spot, but I am still keeping Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse. 
-- The attacking midfielder position was solidified even before I embarked on this blog: Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, and Raymond Kopa. The central question remains: who deserves the title of the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) between Zidane and Platini? This is the primary focus of our discussion. It is essential to note that Raymond Kopa, although lesser known to younger fans, deserves recognition for his remarkable achievements. In the 1958 World Cup Finals, Kopa was named the Player of the Tournament, surpassing the likes of Didi, Pelé, Garrincha, and his teammate Just Fontaine. His outstanding performance also earned him the prestigious Ballon d'Or award that year. Notably, during his time in Madrid, Kopa excelled while playing on the right side of the field.
Raymond Kopa 
-- Larbi Benbarek and Youri Djorkaeff were not selected because the team already had three great playmakers (Kopa, Zidane and Platini). Instead, I picked two wide players Franck Ribery and Jean Vincent to give more width to the offense. Larbi Benbarek was one of the greatest attack midfielders ever played the game, but he did not make the squad.  He only played 17 times for France.  His last one came at the age of 40 against West Germany.
-- Left winger Jean Vincent was France's second leading scorer in France for a long time.  He was overshadowed by Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine in his time.  Franck Ribery was a key player with Bayern Munich during its dominance.  He was a three-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and also won the German award of Footballer of the Year, becoming the first player to hold both honours. Robert Pires was the FWA Player of the Year in 2002, but I replaced him with Kylian Mbappé.  Mbappe led France to two World Cup Finals, winning the 2018 edition.  
--While Dominique Rocheteau, Roger Piantoni, Bernard Bosquier, David Trezeguet, and Eric Cantona were all deserving of recognition in French football. Cantona's dominance in the Premiership is unquestionable, but his performances for the French national team were relatively underwhelming. Some have questioned whether his reputation may have been somewhat inflated due to the fact that the Premiership had not yet reached its full potential during his active years. Meanwhile, Bernard Bosquier played in the late 1960s for a less successful French national team, while Roger Piantoni's career was eclipsed by Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine. Similarly, David Trezeguet was overshadowed by Thierry Henry. 
-- Just Fontaine is the record holder for most goals scored in a single edition of the World Cup.  Thierry Henry was their all-time leading scorer.  The trio easily made the team.
Just Fontaine 
-- The last spot was actually between the two former Ballon D'or winners.  Since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Real Madrid, Karim Benzema emerged from his shadow.  He won the 2022 Ballon D'or as one of the world's best players in the world.  His years-long absence from Les Bleus hurt his chance with this team, but he had over 100 caps for France. He was the hero of the Nations League winning team.  Jean-Pierre Papin won the Ballon d'Or with 30 goals in 54 appearances. However, the French national team struggled during his prime and had limited success in major tournaments despite holding a long undefeated streak.  Furthermore, Papin was never considered the best player in the world during his prime while Benzema sat at the top for about two seasons.
World Cup 2018

Starting lineup
Formation I: 4-4-2
The formation is based upon the "Magic Square" formation of the 1980's.  Platini, Bossis, Tresor and Amoros played in this "Magic Square" formation in the same position during the 1980's.   For my team, Desailly starts in the midfield because he was a better defender than the other alternatives.  Thuram was moved to the central back because he should be a better partner for Tresor.  Blanc was too similar to Tresor. 

Formation II: 4-2-3-1
This should be the more realistic formation.  Raymond Kopa played on the right side for Real Madrid and Zidane also played on the left for them as well.   At the 2006 World Cup Finals, Henry was a lone striker so he knew this role well.  Tigana is not the automatic starter.  I am happy to switch him with Vieira, Giresse or even Deschamps.


  1. This team is absolutely fantastic. Also the other teams are great

  2. Lloris ist already best gk of all time in France. Laurent Blanc belongs to the 23 Squad. He was the Boss in the Defensive of the 1998-2000 Team. Griezman replaces Pires in my sight. Henri Michel to the group of Honorable Mention. There are some interesting Players of the pre 1945 time: Thépot, Delfour, Aston. But great Work anyway!!

  3. Always find your selections interesting, and this is the one I disagree the most with. Blanc not only deserves to be on the 23, but also should be a starter. I don't think Pires deserves to be included... Very good career but not enough to be considered.
    Blanc is a legend and I'd replace Pires or Bossis, if you consider there are too many defenders.

    1. Agree on Blanc deserving to be in the 23.
      Not sure about Blanc being a starter because I would also play Desailly as a CB.
      I would either start Desailly and Blanc in the back, or Desailly and Thuram (if you want Amoros in the team).
      Tigana and Vieira could be the DM's.
      I would probably go:
      Barthez; Amoros, Thuram, Desailly, Lizarazu; Tigana, Vieira; Kopa, Platini, Zidane; Henry
      Fontaine as a supersub

  4. scraps and leftovers, in typical WC formation with 3 controlling mids:
    Willy-Sagnol Blanc Varane Eric-Abidal
    N'Golo-Kanté Viera Deschamps
    Griezmann Karim-Benzema Ribery

  5. 1.Barthez
    3.Desailly (c)
    As Ben Barek played for Morocco before playing for France, and he was born there,I did not considered him for selection.

  6. Barthez, Darui, Lloris
    Amoros, Blanc, Bossis, Desailly, Jongquet, Lizarazu, Thuram, Trésor
    Deschamps, Giresse, Platini, Tigana, Vieira, Zidane
    Cantona, Fontaine, Henry, Kopa, Papin, Ribéry

    1. 2023 update:
      Benzema in, Cantona out
      Mbappe on his way

    2. Cantona was not on the team. I am thinking of dropping Papin for Benzema. let's see.

  7. Emmanuel Petit needs an honorable mention I believe.
    He was voted the 22nd greatest Arsenal player of all time in an Arsenal fans poll and he was an important player in the '98 World Cup winning team.