Table of Contents
Basic Information of France Football Team :
Nicknames: Les Bleus (The Blues), Les Tricolores (The Tri-Colors)
Association: Fédération Française de Football (FFF)
Confederation: UEFA (Europe)
Head Coach: Didier Deschamps
Captain: Hugo Lloris
Most Caps: Lilian Thuram (142)
Most goals: Thierry Henry (51)
Home Stadium: Stade de France
FIFA Code: FRA
World Cup Champions: 2 (1998, 2018)
European Champions: 2 (1984, 2000)
Confederations Cup: 2 (2001, 2003)
The France national football team is also known as represents France in International Football. The dress colors for France are blue, red, and white and the Coq Gaulois (Gallic Rooster) is its symbol. The National team of France is usually known as Les Bleus (The Blues). The home stadium of France is Stade de France located in Saint-Denis. The stadium holds a capacity of 81,338 which makes it the sixth-largest football stadium in Europe.
In 1984, France National Team, lead by the Ballon d’Or winner Michel Platini won UEFA European Cup. Later on in 1998, under the leadership of Didier Deschamps and three-time World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, France won the FIFA World Cup. After two years France won the UEFA Euro 2000. The national team also won the Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003.
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 are France, Germany, Brazil and Argentina.
The France National Team was formed in 1904 around the time of FIFA’s foundation on 21st May 1904. France contested its first-ever international match against Belgium in Brussels, which resulted in a 3-3 draw. In the following year, on 12th February 1905, France contested their first home match against Switzerland. The match was played in Parc des Princes in front of 500 supporters. France won that match with a score of 1-0 and the goal was scored by Gaston Cypres.
In the early stages France struggled to establish its identity due to disagreements between FIFA and Union des Societes Francaises de Sports Athletiques (USFSA). On 9th May 1908, a rival organization of USFSA, the French Interfederal Committe (CFI), ruled that FIFA would now be responsible for the club’s appearances in the upcoming Olympic Games and not USFSA. Later in 1919, CFI converted into French Football Federations (FFF), where the USFSA merged with the FFF in 1921.
In July 1930, France appeared in the inaugural FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay. In the first-ever World Cup match, France won against Mexico by 4-1 at the Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo. Lucien Laurent scored the first-ever goal in World Cup history and the first ever goal for France in a World Cup.
Just Fontaine is the all-time leading goal scorer of France in the World Cup finals with 13 goals.
In 1984, France won their first-ever major international trophy under the captaincy of Michel Platini where they defeated Spain by 2-0 in the UEFA Euro finals. Michel Platini became the top scorer of the tournament with nine goals and still is on the top of the list.
Later on in 1998, France won the World Cup under the leadership of Didier Deschamps and three-time World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane. Two years later, France also won the UEFA Euro Cup 2000.
On being champions of the FIFA World Cup 1998 and UEFA Euro Cup 2000, France qualified for the 2001 Confederations Cup. This was the first time France qualified for the Confederations Cup and also won the Cup by defeating Japan in the finals by 1-0.
Although being eliminated in the first round of the 2002 World Cup, France played the 2003 Confederations Cup. The reason for France playing the 2003 Confederations Cup is that they were the host nation, so they automatically qualified for the tournament. The 2003 Confederations Cup was also won by France where they faced Cameroon and won by 1-0 in extra time.
In the qualifiers of Euro 2012, France was drawn in Group D with Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania, and Luxembourg. France got a tragic start in their first qualifier where they lost 0–1 to Belarus at home. Later in the qualifiers, France won their three consecutive matches against Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Luxembourg. France eventually topped the qualifying group and qualified for the Euro 2012.
In the finals in Poland and Ukraine, France was in Group D with rivals England, Sweden, and Ukraine. France began Euro 2012 with a 1–1 draw against England, later followed by a 2–0 win over co-hosts Ukraine. France lost their final group game 0–2 to Sweden, where they ended second in their group and qualified for the quarter-finals. They were beaten by eventual champions Spain. Following the tournament, Laurent Blanc resigned as the coach and was succeeded by Didier Deschamps, who captained France to glory in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
World Cup 2014:
France was 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, were they equalized 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 Kyiv, France lost 2–0. 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 Euro 2016. France was 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 started the World Cup with a 3–0 win against Honduras in which talismanic striker Karim Benzema bagged a brace. This was followed by 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 was to face Germany in the quarter-finals. France was beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals by 1-0. Paul Pogba was awarded the Best Young Player award during the tournament.
France automatically qualified for Euro 2016 as being hosts and was considered one of the tournament favorites considering the fact that they had won the last two major tournaments which they hosted. France was drawn in Group A alongside Romania, Switzerland and Albania. France won their group with wins over Romania and Albania and a goalless draw against Switzerland and were to face the Republic of Ireland in the round of 16. A brace from Antoine Griezmann, however, helped France to win the match 2–1 and qualify for the quarter-finals. 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 was their first win over Germany at a major tournament since 1958. France was beaten by Portugal 1–0 in the finals of Euro 2016 in extra-time. Griezmann was named the Player of the Tournament and was also awarded the Golden Boot. 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.
France was in Group A of the UEFA zone for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with Netherlands and Sweden. Les Bleus had a shaky start to their campaign as they began with a 0-0 draw against Belarus. They bounced back with a 4-1 win over Bulgaria which was followed by a 1-0 win against the Netherlands at Amsterdam. France won another two matches against Sweden and Luxembourg before being beaten by the Swedes in the return leg at Solna. France went through the remainder of the qualifying unbeaten and topped their group to qualify for their 15th FIFA World Cup.
France played Peru, Australia, and Denmark in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup. However, in group stages, their performance was a bit disappointing, where they managed narrow wins over Australia and Peru, which followed by a draw against Denmark. France was drawn against Argentina in the round of sixteen where they won 4–3 and then went on to beat Uruguay 2–0 and qualified for the semi-finals.
In the semis, France faced Belgium where they defeated them by 1–0 and headed onto the finals. On 15 July, France faced Croatia in the finals of the FIFA World Cup where they won 4–2 and lifted the World Cup for the second time.
FIFA World Cup:
Out of 21 FIFA World Cup Finals, France has appeared in 15 of them.
|1962||Did not qualify|
|1970||Did not qualify|
|1974||Did not qualify|
|1990||Did not qualify|
|1994||Did not qualify|
UEFA European Championship:
Out of 15 European Championships France has appeared in 9 of them and has won the cup two times.
|1964||Did not qualify|
|1968||Did not qualify|
|1972||Did not qualify|
|1976||Did not qualify|
|1980||Did not qualify|
|1988||Did not qualify|
France has appeared in 2 cups out of 10 played in total where they won the cup in both the appearances.
|1992||Did not qualify|
|1995||Did not qualify|
|1997||Did not qualify|
|1999||Did not qualify|
|2005||Did not qualify|
|2009||Did not qualify|
|2013||Did not qualify|
|2017||Did not qualify|
Hugo Lloris, Mike Maignan, Steve Mandanda, Benoit Costil.
Raphael Varane, Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Digne, Clement Lenglet, Leo Dubois, Ruben Aguilar, Kurt Zouma.
Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko, N’Golo Kanté, Corentin Tolisso, Steven Nzonzi, Adrien Rabiot
Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman, Anthony Martial, Wissam Ben Yedder, Marcus Thuram.