Famous French Football Players

As a multi cultural country, France managed to create its soccer style based on French soccer players of all origins and all playing styles. When talking about the English national team for example, we can say that the "traditional" playing style for them is to rain down lobbed passes to the strikers and their game is generally based on strength and determination. Likewise, when talking about the Italians, you'll probably agree that their "traditions" include a tough defensive system and a substantial amount of pragmatism. With French soccer players, you can really find such a pattern, since they're quite varied in their playing style. More importantly, the top 5 French soccer players of all times (Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Michel Platini, Eric Cantona and Didier Deschamps) all come from different backgrounds and have different strengths. It's these 5 magnificent players I'd like to tell you about, as they are considered not only the best French soccer players, but also some of the World's greatest (Find more players from other nationalities at the Famous Soccer Players section). Michel Platini (1955) Until Zidane came on the French soccer scene, Michel Platini was undoubtedly the best French soccer player of all times. Now, the odds are balanced and no one really dares compare the two giants. Michel Platini had a great contribution to France's first international trophy, as he almost single-handedly won them the 1984 European Championship, where he came out as top scorer and best player of the tournament Eric Cantona (1966) Controversial, charismatic, popular, decisive...these would be some great adjectives to stamp on Eric Cantona, but before being all of the above, he was a brilliant player. In order to understand Cantona's power, you should ask a few Manchester United fans. Playing for Man U for 6 seasons and ending his career with the Old Trafford side earned Cantona the status of an idol, as his 64 goals in nearly 140 matches revived Manchester to the great soccer power it is today. Didier Deschamps (1968) Although defensive midfielders never really stand out in modern soccer, Didier Deschamps and his majestic playing style made sure he was the exception that strengthened the rule. Captaining France through the successful 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 campaigns, Didier Deschamps became the first French captain (and French football player, at that) to lift the two major trophies. Zinedine Zidane (1972) Zizou is not only an iconic figure of modern French soccer, but also an idol throughout the World. If you're new to soccer and didn't have the chance to see Zinedine Zidane play, here's what made him famous: his perfect technique, brilliant passing ability and his decisiveness when his teams needed it most. Some of his best moments in soccer were in decisive matches where there was a huge amount of pressure on the players' shoulders. For example, he single-handedly won the 1998 World Cup final, scoring twice against Brazil. Or who can forget his magnificent volley right under the bar in the 2001-2002 Champions League final, a goal that eventually brought Real Madrid the trophy.


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