Top five: French footballers

Published 6 Comments

France have produced some of the best footballing sides ever, winning the World Cup once and also winning the European Championships twice.

They have also produced some of the greatest footballers along the years and it's hard to pick just five, so I want to start with giving an honourable mention to the players who didn't make the list but are, nevertheless, French legends:

Jean-Pierre Papin 

Lilian Thuram 

Didier Deschamps 

Marcel Desailly 

5. Just Fontaine | Casablanca, Nice & Stade Reims

Fontaine is arguably France's greatest ever goalscorer and his international record can only be challenged by the great Gerd Muller. He only played 21 games for France but scored an incredible 30 goals in the process, making him one of the most prolific international goalscorers ever. Fontaine has scored 227 goals in his illustrious career. 

4. Eric Cantona | Auxerre, Marseille, Nimes, Leeds United & Manchester United

Cantona is arguably the most arrogant footballer of all time but he had the skill and technique to back it up.

He went on many loan spells while in France but eventually settled in England with Manchester United. At Old Trafford he rose to prominence and his knack of scoring important goals made him the main man in the club's most successful period for a long time.

A regular goalscorer for France, Cantona netted 20 times for the French. Cantona scored 185 goals in his career, and many of them helped United win numerous Premier League and FA Cup titles. 

3. Thierry Henry | Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona & NY Red Bulls

France and Arsenal's all-time top scorer, Henry is one of the greats.

Henry is the only player to score 50 goals or more for France and he is one of the best finishers ever. Henry helped Arsenal to two Premier League titles and three FA Cups.

He also played a vital role in winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Henry has scored 396 goals in his career till now and could still score many more. 

2. Zinedine Zidane | Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus & Real Madrid

Zizou is arguably one of the best footballers ever and his achievements are comparable to Pele and Diego Maradona. Not the most prolific goalscorer but Zidane's passing and dribbling ability was second-to-none and he was easily the best player of his generation.

Zidane scored 31 times for his country and helped them win the World Cup and Euro titles. 

1. Michel Platini | Nancy, St. Etienne and Juventus

The President of UEFA sure knew how to play football, and he was one of the greatest too. His goalscoring record for an attacking midfielder was incredible, scoring 41 times for his country.

He led France to glory in Euro 1984 and also helped Juventus to many titles. Scoring 353 goals from midfield is no easy task but Platini did that with ease and also displayed skill and finesse while doing so. He was the greatest player France ever had.


Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here:

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Thierry Henry
Zinedine Zidane

Read more

back to top