France national football team

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France
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Les Bleus (The Blues)
Les Tricolores (The Tri-colors)
AssociationFédération Française
de Football
(FFF)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachDidier Deschamps
Asst coachGuy Stéphan
CaptainHugo Lloris
Most capsLilian Thuram (142)
Top scorerThierry Henry (51)
Home stadiumStade de France
FIFA codeFRA
FIFA ranking10 Steady (14 August 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking1 (May 2001 – May 2002)
Lowest FIFA ranking27 (September 2010)
Elo ranking8 (2014)
Highest Elo ranking1 (most recently July 2007)
Lowest Elo ranking44 (May 1928
February 1930)
First colours
Second colours
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
Appearances14 (First in 1930)
Best resultChampions, 1998
European Championship
Appearances8 (First in 1960)
Best resultChampions, 1984 and 2000
Confederations Cup
Appearances2 (First in 2001)
Best resultChampions, 2001 and 2003
 
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This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see France women's national football team.
France
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Les Bleus (The Blues)
Les Tricolores (The Tri-colors)
AssociationFédération Française
de Football
(FFF)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachDidier Deschamps
Asst coachGuy Stéphan
CaptainHugo Lloris
Most capsLilian Thuram (142)
Top scorerThierry Henry (51)
Home stadiumStade de France
FIFA codeFRA
FIFA ranking10 Steady (14 August 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking1 (May 2001 – May 2002)
Lowest FIFA ranking27 (September 2010)
Elo ranking8 (2014)
Highest Elo ranking1 (most recently July 2007)
Lowest Elo ranking44 (May 1928
February 1930)
First colours
Second colours
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
Appearances14 (First in 1930)
Best resultChampions, 1998
European Championship
Appearances8 (First in 1960)
Best resultChampions, 1984 and 2000
Confederations Cup
Appearances2 (First in 2001)
Best resultChampions, 2001 and 2003

The France national football team (French: Équipe de France de football) represents France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation (French: Fédération Française de Football), the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe. The national team's traditional colours are blue, white and red, the colors of the national flag of France, known as the drapeau tricolore, and the coq gaulois is the symbol of the team. France is colloquially known as Les Bleus (The Blues), which is the name associated with all of the country's sporting national teams, due to the blue shirts each team incorporates.

France played its first official match in 1904, and today primarily plays its home matches at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. The national team has won one FIFA World Cup title, two UEFA European Football Championships, an Olympic tournament, and two FIFA Confederations Cups. Following France's 2001 Confederations Cup victory, they became, along with Argentina, the only national teams to win the three most important men's titles organized by FIFA. France has a strong rivalry with neighbours Italy, and has historically also had important rivalries with Belgium, Brazil, England, Germany, and Spain.

The national team has experienced much of its success during three major "golden generations": 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, becoming one of eight national teams to ever do so while hosting the tournament. Two years later, the team triumphed again in UEFA Euro 2000 and became the top team in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time. France has since added a pair of Confederations Cup titles, in 2001 and 2003, as well as an appearance in the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which it lost 5–3 on penalties to Italy.

History[edit]

The 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.[2] 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. France later lost 1–0 to fellow group stage opponents Argentina and Chile resulting 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 different 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.[3] 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. 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, Jacquet led France to glory defeating Brazil 3–0 in the final at the Stade de France. 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. 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 despite controversial disruptions in extra time, France failed to get on the score-sheet and Italy won 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.[4][5] 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.[6][7][8] 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".[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12][13]

Home stadium[edit]

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.

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.

Team image[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

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.[14] 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.[15]

Kit[edit]

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 drapeau 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, 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.[16]

Beginning in 1966, France had its shirts made by Le Coq Sportif until 1972. 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.[17] 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 – 1 June 2018).

Making France's blue shirt the most expensive ever in the history of football.[18][19] 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.[20] In February 2013, Nike revealed an all baby blue change strip.

PeriodKit providers
1966–1971France Le Coq Sportif
1972–2010Germany Adidas
2011–at least 2018United States Nike

Kit history[edit]

1958 World Cup
1962 World Cup
1966 World Cup/1970
1972
1978 World Cup
1978 World Cup (*)
1982 World Cup (home)
Euro 1984
World Cup 1986
1990 and 1991
Euro 1992
Euro 1992 (away)
1994
Euro 1996
Euro 1996 (away)
1998 World Cup (home)
1998 World Cup (away)
Euro 2000
Euro 2000 (away)
2002 World Cup
2006 World Cup
2006 World Cup (away)
Euro 2008
2008–2009
2010 World Cup
Euro 2012
2013 (away)
2014 World Cup

Notes:
(*) This jersey was used in the first stage-match against Hungary played in Mar del Plata, because the French team arrived in that city provided only with the white away kit (the same colors that Hungary had brought to the stadium). The problem was finally solved by local club Kimberley which lent the French squad their green and white striped jerseys to play the match.[21][22]

Nickname[edit]

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.[23]

Representing multi-ethnic France[edit]

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, Thierry Henry, 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.[24] 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.[25] 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 Zinédine 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.[26] 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.[27]

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.

On 28 April 2011, 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.[28] 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".[29] The federation also announced that it has authorized a full investigation into the matter and, as a result, suspended National Technical Director François Blaquart pending the outcome of the investigation.[30]

On 29 April, national team manager Laurent Blanc, who, in the report, was claimed to have agreed with the decision to implement the quotas, held a personal press conference at the l'Hôtel Le Régent in Bordeaux, in which he also denied the report declaring that he had "not heard of such a project".[31] On the following day, after Mediapart announced that it had a taped audio recording of the November 2010 meeting, Blanc released a statement on the FFF's website in which he apologized for possible offending comments he made during the meeting, while also declaring he was misquoted and denying he was racist stating "I do not withdraw the remarks I made yesterday. I admit that some terms used during a meeting on a sensitive subject can be ambiguous, out of context, and, if in my case, I've hurt some feelings but, I apologize. But being suspected of racism or xenophobia, which I am against all forms of discrimination, I do not support it".[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 the comments Blanc allegedly made at the meeting made were "serious and scandalous". The French government also gave opinions on the matter. 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". National Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno echoed the president's sentiments, while also demanding that the FFF "shed light" on a report.[33] Blanc was defended by several former players, most notably his 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning teammates Christophe Dugarry, Bixente Lizarazu, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, and Emmanuel Petit, current players, such as current national team captain Alou Diarra, and external sources, which included Pathé Diba, the president of L’Association Soutien aux Handicapés Africains (Association to Support the Disabled in Africa).[34][35][36][37][38] On 9 May, Blanc gave testimony at a hearing set up by the federation to investigate the quota matter. The next day, the federation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Coaching staff[edit]

Didier Deschamps, the current manager of the France national football team.
As of 12 August 2012.[39]
PositionName
ManagerDidier Deschamps
Assistant managerGuy Stéphan
Goalkeeper coachFranck Raviot
DoctorFranck Le Gall
OsteopathJean-Yves Vandewalle
PhysiotherapistChristophe Geoffroy
PhysiotherapistThierry Laurent

Players[edit]

For France national team players with at least 20 appearances, see here. For a complete list of French international with a Wikipedia article, see here.

Current squad[edit]

The following 23 players were called up to the squad for the friendly matches against Spain and Serbia.[40]
Caps and goals as of 4 July 2014, after the match against Germany.

0#0Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
1GKHugo Lloris (captain)(1986-12-26) 26 December 1986 (age 27)620England Tottenham Hotspur
1GKSteve Mandanda(1985-03-28) 28 March 1985 (age 29)160France Marseille
1GKStéphane Ruffier(1986-09-27) 27 September 1986 (age 27)20France Saint Étienne
2DFPatrice Evra(1981-05-15) 15 May 1981 (age 33)620Italy Juventus
2DFBacary Sagna(1983-02-14) 14 February 1983 (age 31)420England Manchester City
2DFMathieu Debuchy(1985-07-28) 28 July 1985 (age 29)252England Arsenal
2DFMamadou Sakho(1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 (age 24)232England Liverpool
2DFJérémy Mathieu(1983-29-10) 10 May 1983 (age 30)20Spain Barcelona
2DFRaphaël Varane(1993-04-25) 25 April 1993 (age 21)110Spain Real Madrid
2DFLucas Digne(1993-07-20) 20 July 1993 (age 21)30France Paris Saint-Germain
2DFEliaquim Mangala(1991-02-13) 13 February 1991 (age 23)30England Manchester City
3MFMathieu Valbuena(1984-09-28) 28 September 1984 (age 29)386Russia Dynamo Moscow
3MFYohan Cabaye(1986-01-14) 14 January 1986 (age 28)343France Paris Saint-Germain
3MFBlaise Matuidi(1987-04-09) 9 April 1987 (age 27)284France Paris Saint-Germain
3MFMoussa Sissoko(1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 (age 25)211England Newcastle United
3MFPaul Pogba(1993-03-15) 15 March 1993 (age 21)153Italy Juventus
3MFRio Mavuba(1984-03-08) 8 March 1984 (age 30)130France Lille
3MFAntoine Griezmann(1991-03-21) 21 March 1991 (age 23)93Spain Atlético Madrid
3MFMorgan Schneiderlin(1989-11-08) 8 November 1989 (age 24)20England Southampton
3MFRémy Cabella(1990-03-08) 8 March 1990 (age 24)10England Newcastle United
4FWKarim Benzema(1987-12-19) 19 December 1987 (age 26)7124Spain Real Madrid
4FWLoïc Rémy(1987-01-02) 2 January 1987 (age 27)255England Chelsea
4FWAlexandre Lacazette(1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 (age 23)20France Lyon

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for France squad within the past 12 months.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GKMickaël Landreau RET(1979-05-14) 14 May 1979 (age 35)110France Bastia2014 FIFA World Cup
DFBenoît Trémoulinas(1985-12-28) 28 December 1985 (age 28)20Spain Sevilla2014 FIFA World Cup (standby)
DFLoïc Perrin(1985-08-07) 7 August 1985 (age 29)00France Saint-Étienne2014 FIFA World Cup (standby)
DFÉric Abidal(1979-09-11) 11 September 1979 (age 34)670Greece Olympiacosv.  Ukraine, 19 November 2013
DFGaël Clichy(1985-07-26) 26 July 1985 (age 29)200England Manchester Cityv.  Ukraine, 19 November 2013
DFRod Fanni(1981-12-06) 6 December 1981 (age 32)50France Marseillev.  Finland, 15 October 2013
DFKurt Zouma(1994-10-27) 27 October 1994 (age 19)00England Chelseav.  Finland, 15 October 2013
DFAdil Rami(1985-12-27) 27 December 1985 (age 28)261Italy Milanv.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
MFFranck Ribéry RET(1983-04-07) 7 April 1983 (age 31)8116Germany Bayern Munich2014 FIFA World Cup INJ
MFClément Grenier(1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 23)50France Lyon2014 FIFA World Cup INJ
MFMaxime Gonalons(1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 25)60France Lyon2014 FIFA World Cup (standby)
MFDimitri Payet(1987-03-29) 29 March 1987 (age 27)70France Marseillev.  Netherlands, 5 March 2014
MFJosuha Guilavogui(1990-09-19) 19 September 1990 (age 23)50Germany Wolfsburgv.  Netherlands, 5 March 2014
MFSamir Nasri RET(1987-06-26) 26 June 1987 (age 27)415England Manchester Cityv.  Ukraine, 19 November 2013
MFÉtienne Capoue(1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 26)71England Tottenham Hotspurv.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
MFGeoffrey Kondogbia(1993-02-15) 15 February 1993 (age 21)10Monaco Monacov.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
FWOlivier Giroud(1986-09-30) 30 September 1986 (age 27)359England Arsenal2014 FIFA World Cup
FWAndré-Pierre Gignac(1985-12-05) 5 December 1985 (age 28)174France Marseillev.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
FWBafétimbi Gomis(1985-08-06) 6 August 1985 (age 29)123Wales Swansea Cityv.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
FWYoan Gouffran(1986-05-25) 25 May 1986 (age 28)00England Newcastle Unitedv.  Belarus, 10 September 2013
Notes

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury
RET Retired from international football

Results[edit]

2013[edit]

2014[edit]

Competitive record[edit]

For single-match results of the national team, see French football single-season articles and the team's results page.

FIFA World Cup record[edit]

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 fifth-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.[41][42]

FIFA World Cup recordQualification record
YearResultPositionPldWD*LGFGAPldWD*LGFGA
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[edit]

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 seven UEFA European Championship tournament, 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 recordQualification record
YearResultPositionPldWD*LGFGAPldWD*LGFGA
France 1960Fourth Place4th2002474310176
Spain 1964Did Not Qualify62131110
Italy 196884221612
Belgium 19726312108
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976613276
Italy 19808411137
France 1984Champions1st5500144Qualified as hosts
West Germany 1988Did Not Qualify814347
Sweden 1992Group Stage6th3021238800206
England 1996Semi-Finals4th52305210550222
Belgium Netherlands 2000Champions1st6501137106311710
Portugal 2004Quarter-Finals6th4211758800292
Austria Switzerland 2008Group Stage15th30121612822255
Poland Ukraine 2012Quarter-Finals8th41123510631154
France 2016TBDQualified as hosts
Total2 Titles8/14321589493910259261720685

FIFA Confederations Cup record[edit]

France have appeared in two of the five 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 due to winning UEFA Euro 2000 and because of their duties as host, won the competition beating Cameroon 1–0 after extra time.

FIFA Confederations Cup record
YearRoundPositionGPWD*LGSGA
Saudi Arabia 1992Did Not Qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999Did Not Enter[43]
South Korea Japan 2001Champions1st5401122
France 2003Champions1st5500123
Germany 2005Did Not Qualify
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013
Total2 Titles2/910901245
*Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won. Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Minor tournaments[edit]

YearRoundPositionGPWD*LGSGA
Belgium 1904 Évence Coppée TrophyCo-Winners1st101033
Brazil 1972 Brazilian Independence CupGroup stage8th4310102
France 1985 Artemio Franchi TrophyWinners110020
France 1988 Tournoi de FranceWinners1st220042
Kuwait 1990 Kuwait TournamentWinners1st220040
Japan 1994 Kirin CupWinners1st220051
France 1997 Tournoi de FranceGroup stage3rd302134
Morocco 1998 King Hassan II International Cup TournamentWinners1st211032
Morocco 2000 King Hassan II International Cup TournamentWinners1st211073
South Africa 2000 Nelson Mandela Inauguration Challenge CupCo-Winners101000
Total8 titles2012714117
*Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.

Honours[edit]

This is a list of honours for the senior France national team

FIFA World Cup

UEFA European Championship

FIFA Confederations Cup

Olympic football tournament

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

Minor titles[edit]

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

Statistics[edit]

Most capped players[edit]

Lilian Thuram is the most capped player in the history of France with 142 caps.
  Active national team players are highlighted
#NameCareerCapsGoals
1Lilian Thuram1994–20081422
2Thierry Henry1997–201012351
3Marcel Desailly1993–20041163
4Zinedine Zidane1994–200610831
5Patrick Vieira1997–20091076
6Didier Deschamps1989–20001034
7Laurent Blanc1989–20009716
Bixente Lizarazu1992–2004972
9Sylvain Wiltord1999–20069226
10Fabien Barthez1994–2006870

Last updated: 4 July 2014
Source: French Football Federation

Top goalscorers[edit]

Thierry Henry is the top scorer in the history of France with 51 goals.
#PlayerCareerGoalsCapsAverage
1Thierry Henry1997–2010511230.42
2Michel Platini1976–198741720.57
3David Trezeguet1998–200834710.47
4Zinedine Zidane1994–2006311080.28
5Just Fontaine1953–196030211.42
Jean-Pierre Papin1986–199530540.55
7Youri Djorkaeff1993–200228820.34
8Sylvain Wiltord1999–200626920.28
9Karim Benzema2007–present24710.34
10Jean Vincent1953–196122460.47

Last updated: 4 July 2014
Source: French Football Federation

Managers[edit]

ManagerFrance careerGamesWonDrawnLostWin %
France Guérin, HenriHenri Guérin1964–19661554633.3
Spain Arribas, JoséJosé Arribas
France Snella, JeanJean Snella
1966420250.0
France Fontaine, JustJust Fontaine1967200200.0
France Dugauguez, LouisLouis Dugauguez1967–1968923422.2
France Boulogne, GeorgesGeorges Boulogne1969–1973311551148.4
Romania Kovács, ȘtefanȘtefan Kovács1973–19751564540.0
France Hidalgo, MichelMichel Hidalgo1976–19847541161854.7
France Michel, HenriHenri Michel1984–1988361612844.4
France Platini, MichelMichel Platini1988–199229168555.2
France Houllier, GérardGérard Houllier1992–19931271458.3
France Jacquet, AiméAimé Jacquet1994–1998533416364.2
France Lemerre, RogerRoger Lemerre1998–2002533411864.2
France Santini, JacquesJacques Santini2002–200428224278.6
France Domenech, RaymondRaymond Domenech2004–20107941241451.9
France Blanc, LaurentLaurent Blanc2010–201227167459.3
France Deschamps, DidierDidier Deschamps2012–27156655.6
Managers in italics were hired as caretakers

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The other two being United States (withdrawing in 1938 without actually playing any match) and Brazil (reaching the finals tournament each time).
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  22. ^ "Cuando Kimberley le ganó a Hungría"
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  36. ^ "Desailly: "Les propos de Blanc ont été déformés"" (in French). RMC Sport. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
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  43. ^ As 1998 FIFA World Cup Champions

External links[edit]