|Zinedine Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Players born in the Overeseas Department and former French Colonies
French Black Players
French Players Capped by Other National Teams
France at USA 1994
Olympique de Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain
Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco, Nantes
Saint-Étienne, Girondins de Bordeaux, Lille OSC
Southern France is known as "le Midi". It consists of Aquitaine, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, Corsica, Rhône-Alpes and Poitou-Charentes. The traditional powerful teams such as Olympique Lyonnais, Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco(independent country) are from Southern France. Bordeaux, AS Saint-Étienne, Nice, etc are some of more powerful clubs in the region.
The biggest cities of Southern France are Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nice and Montpellier. The Pyrenees and French Alps are also located in the area, respectively in its southwestern and eastern parts.
GK: Fabien Barthez (Occitanie)
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. He shares the record for the most World Cup finals clean sheets with Peter Shilton, with ten.For domestic football, he played with Toulouse, Marseille, AS Monaco, Manchester United and Nantes. He also won Champions League medal with Marseille in 1993.
Bats earned 50 caps for France between 1983 and 1989. He was the starting keeper for France during its Euro 1984 winning campaign at home, and then, the World Cup Finals in 1986, where he saved penalties against both Socrates and Zico. He played first with Sochaux. He later played with Auxerre and Paris St.Germain. He spent 7 seasons in Paris.
Team GK: Hugo Lloris (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur)
Hugo Lloris started his career with Nice. He moved to Lyon in 2008 to replace Coupet. In 2012, he moved to Tottenham Hotspurs. Tay the time of writing, he has over 80 caps for France. He is a key player since the World Cup Finals in 2010, participating in every major tournaments. He was the starting keeper for France at the Euro 2016 and the World Cup Finals in 2018.
RB/LB: Manuel Amoros (Occitanie)
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.
Sagnol played with St Etienne and Monaco. He was better known for his stint with Bayern Munich, winning the Champions' League in 2001. He played for the national team from 2000 to 2008. He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006. He became the regular stater after Lilian Thuram moved to centre-back. He had 58 caps.
CB: Philippe Mexes (Occitanie)
Philippe Mexes was a highly-rated centre-back who seldom got his chance with the national team under manager Raymond Domenech. He only earned 29 caps. He was a part of the team at European Championship in 2012 after Domenech left. At the club level, he played in Italy for Roma and then, AC Milan. At Roma, he formed a central defensive partnership with Cristian Chivu.
CB/RB: Bernard Bosquier (Rhône-Alpes)
Bernard Bosquier was French Player of the Year in 1967 and 1968. He starred for FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, Saint Etienne and Olympique de Marseille. He was the best defender in France during his prime. He surprisingly left Forez for Olympique Marseille along with goalkeeper Georges Carnus in 1971 winning the "double" with Olympique Marseille in his first season. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1966.
CB: Laurent Blanc (Languedoc-Roussillon)
Laurent Blanc was nicknamed "Le Président" for leadership skills. He had over 90 caps. He was a key member of the French team that won the 1998 World Cup at home and the 2000 European Championship in Belgium and Holland. The team was known for its defence as well as its offence. For his club career, he played for Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Internazionale and Manchester United.
Frank Leboeuf was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000. He was mainly a backup behind Laurent Blanc, but played at the WC Final against Brazil. For his club career, his best stint was perhaps with Chelsea. With Chelsea, he won two FA Cups, one League Cup and one Cup Winners' Cup.
LB: Bixente Lizarazu (Aquitaine)
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.
LB: Vincent Candela (Occitanie )
For his club career, Candela played with Toulouse and Guingamp before moving to A.S. Roma in 1997. He won one scudetto with Roma, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana, in 2001. He later played for Bolton Wanderers, Udinese, Siena and Messina. Internationally, he was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000. He also went to play in the WC Finals in 2002.
CM/FW: Rene Petit (Aquitaine)
Rene Petit made his debut with Real Madrid as a 14 years old and became one of the biggest stars in Spain during 1910's. His father was French while his mother was Spanish. He grew up between the two countries. He served in the French Army during the First World War and suffered a career ending injury in the War.
DM: Didier Deschamps(Aquitaine)
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. The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for both club. He earned 103 caps and was the captain of 1998 World Cup winning team for France.
Jean-Jacques Marcel was a star on the French national team in the 1950's. He also served as its captain at one point. He played in World Cup Finals of 1954 and 1958, where France reached the semifinal in 1958. For his club career, he played with FC Sochaux and Marseille. He was a high scorer for a defensive midfielder.
LW: David Ginola (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
For the national team, he was blamed for the goal against Bulgaria that eliminated France for the 1994 WC qualification. He moved to England shortly afterward. Ginola became a big star at the English Preimer League in the late 1990's. In England, he played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa and Everton. he won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999.
RW: Dominique Rocheteau (Poitou-Charentes)
Dominique Rocheteau was a member of the Saint Etienne of the late 1970's, where they reached the 1976 European Cup Final before losing to Bayern Munich. For the national team, he was a member of the Golden Generation in the 1980's that won the European Championship in 1984 and playing in the World Cup Finals in 1978, 1982 and 1986.
AM: Zinedine Zidane (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
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.
Youri Djorkaeff is the son of French international Jean Djorkaeff. He played for many clubs in Europe, including Monaco, PSG, Inter Milan, Kaiserslautern, etc. He was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000. He is considered one of the best French offensive players in that era.
AM: Johan Micoud (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Micoud began with AS Cannes. In 1992, he joined FC Girondins de Bordeaux, where the club won the Ligue 1 title. In 2000, he played for Parma and then, SV Werder Bremen two years later, where he won the league and cup double in 2004. Capped only 17 times, largely because of playing in the same time as Zidane. He won the Euro 2000 and played at the WC in 2002.
AM: Alain Giresse (Aquitaine)
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.
FW: Eric Cantona (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Before joining Leeds United in 1992, Cantona was known as the bad boy of French football. He moved to England to restart his career. In England, he became a huge star. He won the league title with Leeds United and moved to Manchester United. At Manchester United, he became one of their best ever players. For the national team, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for the WC in 1994.
Giroud began his career at Grenoble in Ligue 2 before joining Tours in 2008. Gird joined Arsenal in 2012. He won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and totalled 105 goals in 253 games for the club. In January 2018, he transferred to Chelsea on an 18-month contract. Since 2011, he has played over 95 times for France. He was a part of the team that won the World Cup in 2018.
ST: Karim Benzema (Rhône-Alpes)
Karim Benzema was billed as one of the best young players in Europe when he played for Lyon. In 2009, he made a dream move to Real Madrid on the same summer that Kaka and Cristano Ronaldo joined the club. He won 4 Champions' League titles with Real Madrid, where he formed the BBC line with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. For the national team, he played in the 2014 World Cup Finals, but missed out in the World Cup Finals of 2010. He had 81 caps since 2007.
Éric Abidal (Rhône-Alpes), Jean Djorkaeff (Rhône-Alpes), Georges Carnus (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur), Blaise Matuidi (Occitanie), Adil Rami (Corsica), Samir Nasri (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
-- All players are selected according to their place of birth.
-- France won four major international tournaments, namely the 1998 and 2018 World Cup, and 1984 and 2000 European Champship. Coincidently, all tournaments were won by goalkeepers born in Southern France. Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris and Joel Bats are from Southern France.
-- Fabien Barthez is France's most decorated goalkeeper.
-- Hugo Lloris replace Georges Carnus (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur) after the World Cup in 2018. He deserved to be considered one of the greatest French goalkeeper.
-- Manuel Amoros could play both sides of the fullback position. He is among the best French fullback ever.
-- I took Candela over Jean Djorkaeff because I am not familiar with Djorkaeff. Jean is the father of Youri Djorkaeff. Eric Abidal was also left off the team.
-- Olympique Lyonnais, Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco (independent country) are located Southern France, but not all of their greatest players came from the South.
-- I also looked into club legends such as Fleury Di Nallo and Bernard Lacombe of Olympique Lyonnais. Jean-Luc Ettori is also a club legend with AS Moncao that worlth a mention. They were born in Southern France.
-- Rene Petit was a key player for Real Madrid during the 1910's. Jean Petit who played on the 1978 World Cup team was also born in the region. Emmanuel Petit started his career with AS Monaco, but he is from the Normandy in the North.
-- The backbone of both 1998 World Cup winning team and 2000 Euro winning team came from this region. Fabien Barthez, Youri Djorkaeff, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Deschamp, Laurent Blanc and Bixente Lizarazu were starters on the team. Frank Leboeuf played in the WC Final against Brazil in 1998. Vincent Candela was also from that generation.
-- From the 2018 World Cup winning team, I have 6 players from the south. Lucas Hernandez, Nabil Fekir, Corentin Tolisso and Olivier Giroud are from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Blaise Matuidi is from Occitanie. At the time of writing, Hugo Lloris and Giroud are the only players who made this team. Karim Benzema would have gone to the World Cup in 2018, but a scandal caused him a spot.
-- In October, 2019, Olivier Giroud replaced Samir Nasri on the team. The team has too many attack midfielders. Zinedine Zidane, Youri Djorkaeff, Johan Micoud and Alain Giresse are ahead of Nasri. Giroud is the third all-time leading scorer for France.
-- Eric Cantona was known to have bad relations with David Ginola as well as Didiner Deschamps. Both Ginola and Cantona were not used after France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in USA (France in USA 1994).
-- Joel Bats, Manuel Amoros, Alain Giresse and Dominique Rocheteau played with the Golden Generation in the 1980's. They were great contributors.
-- Jean-Jacques Marcel is the only member of the great 1958 team on this squad.
-- After Cristano Ronaldo's departure from Real Madrid in 2017, Karim Benzema proved that he is one of the best forwards in the world.