About France

The French national football team played its first international match on 1 May 1904, drawing 3-3 with Belgium. Les Bleus’ traditional home kit is a blue shirt, white shorts and red socks, matching the colours of the French flag.

 

France’s national stadium is the Stade de France, which was built for the 1998 World Cup. The stadium, which has a capacity of 81,338, is situated just outside of Paris and hosted the 1998 World Cup Final.

 

France have participated in fourteen FIFA World Cups and won the tournament as hosts in 1998. Two years later, France won the European Championship for the second time. The national team had previously won the 1984 edition, when they hosted the Championships. France will host the 2016 edition of the tournament. France won the 2001 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cups and also won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

 

In the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, France were knocked out of the tournament in the group stages, picking up just 1 point, despite being defending World Champions. The following World Cup, however, France bounced back and made it to the final in Germany. France lost the final to Italy in a penalty shootout. Captain Zinedine Zidane was named the tournament’s best player, despite getting a straight red card in the final for a headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi.

Defender Lilian Thuram holds the record for the most French caps won, with 141. France’s all-time leading goalscorer is Thierry Henry, who scored 51 goals in 123 appearances.

 

Notable players to have played for the side include Michel Platini, David Trezeguet, Youri Djorkaeff, Eric Cantona, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Nicolas Anelka and current coach, Didier Deschamps.

 

Deschamps took over in 2012, replacing Laurent Blanc. Other notable managers of the national team include Michael Platini, Gerard Houllier, Roger Lemerre and Raymond Domenech.

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