Soccer The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time  

Reference
Originally by
41.9k votes 4.1k voters 103.3k views 215 items

List Rules French soccer players only.

Aside from Zizou (Zinedane Zidane), who else makes it onto the list of the best French soccer players? Plenty of French footballers, according to soccer fans. Below, you'll see a rank of the best footballers from France, spanning decades of history--with some star players from years past. Don't agree with the list? Vote for your favorite French football players and add any you feel should be in the discussion.

This list of the best soccer players from France includes details on positions played along with photos when available. If you're searching for a particular famous French soccer player you can use the search box at the top of the list to find who you're looking for. Some generally agreed upon greats include Cyrille Pouget, Antar Yahia and Zinedine Zidane. In fact, Zidane is in the running for being one of the best soccer players of all time, regardless of country. But if you're wondering who are the best French footballers currently or who is the greatest French soccer player of all time, this list is for you. 

You can click on the names of these popular soccer players of France in order to get more information about each one. If you're a soccer fan, then you can use this list of the best French soccer players to discover some new athletes that you might not know about.
list ordered by
1
1,851 504
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Midfielder
Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed "Zizou", is a former French footballer and current coach of Real Madrid Castilla. He played as an attacking midfielder for the French national team, ...more
2
1,364 525
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Forward, Midfielder
Thierry Daniel Henry is a retired French professional footballer, who played as a forward. He played for Monaco, Juventus, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and spent eight years at Arsenal where he ...more
3
1,149 496
Michel Platini is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Michel François Platini is a former French football player and manager, and the president of the Union of European Football Associations since 2007. Regarded as one of the greatest ...more
4
687 343
Patrick Vieira is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Patrick Vieira is a retired French footballer who is the Manager of the Reserves squad at Premier League club Manchester City, known as the Elite Development Squad. He rose to prominence during ...more
5
593 211
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Kylian Mbappé Lottin is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team. Mbappé came into prominence at an early age, ...more
6
878 437
Antoine Griezmann is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
uluhan-tepe added Forward, Midfielder
Antoine Griezmann is a French footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid mainly as a forward. He began his career at Real Sociedad, where he spent five seasons before ...more
7
831 519
Eric Cantona is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward, Midfielder
Éric Daniel Pierre Cantona is a French actor and former international footballer for the French national team. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, ...more
8
509 267
Just Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward
Just "Justo" Fontaine is a retired French football player best known for being the record holder for most goals scored in a single edition of the FIFA World Cup, with 13 in 1958. In ...more
9
390 213
Raymond Kopa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward, Midfielder
Raymond Kopa is a former French footballer, integral to the French national team of the 1950s. At club level he was part of the legendary Real Madrid team of the 1950s, winning three European ...more
10
375 217
Jean-Pierre Papin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward
Jean-Pierre Papin is a former French professional football player who was European Footballer of the Year in 1991. Papin achieved his greatest success while playing for Olympique Marseille ...more
11
373 156
N'golo Kanté is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
N'golo Kanté
12
470 258
Marcel Desailly is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender, Midfielder
Marcel Desailly is a retired French footballer and star of the France national football team squad, with whom he won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. He also enjoyed a distinguished career at ...more
13
481 275
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender
Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien, known as Lilian Thuram, is a retired professional football defender and the most capped player in the history of the France national team. He played at the top flight ...more
14
588 293
Paul Pogba is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Paul Labile Pogba is a French professional footballer who plays for Italian club Juventus in Serie A. He operates primarily as a central midfielder and is comfortable at playing both in attack ...more
15
254 119
David Trezeguet is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
bradley-lothian-singer added Forward
David Sergio Trezeguet is a French retired footballer. Trezeguet began his career with Club Atlético Platense at the age of eight, progressing through their youth system to their first ...more
16
705 480
Franck Ribéry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Forward, Midfielder
Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry, also known as Bilal Yusuf Mohammed as an adopted name since his conversion in 2006 to Islam, is a French footballer currently playing for German Bundesliga ...more
17
378 213
Laurent Blanc is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender
Laurent Robert Blanc is a French football manager, former player and currently the manager of Paris Saint-Germain. He has the nickname Le Président, which was given to him following his ...more
18
324 183
Raphaël Varane is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
scruffenstein added Defender
Raphaël Varane is a French footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the French national team, as a central defender. He previously played for French club Lens and, ahead of the ...more
19
158 70
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Defender
Marius Trésor is a retired football defender from France, who was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers. Trésor's career began with the French club ...more
20
325 211
Claude Makélélé is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Claude Makélélé Sinda is a retired French footballer and current manager. In his playing career, which ended at Paris Saint-Germain, Makélélé also ...more
21
212 115
Jean Tigana is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Jean Amadou Tigana is a former French international footballer, having played in midfield and managed professional football extensively throughout France, including 52 appearances and 1 goal for ...more
22
337 187
Hugo Lloris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Goalkeeper
Hugo Lloris is a French professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for English club Tottenham Hotspur and is the captain of the France national team. Lloris is described as a goalkeeper ...more
23
335 204
Didier Deschamps is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Didier Claude Deschamps is a retired French footballer and current manager of France. He played as a defensive midfielder for such clubs as Chelsea, Juventus and Marseille. In this position, he ...more
24
349 248
Robert Pirès is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Midfielder
Robert Emmanuel Pirès is a French footballer who plays for FC Goa in the Indian Super League. He is a former French international footballer and is best known for his time with Arsenal, ...more
25
110 44
Roger Piantoni is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward
Roger Piantoni is a former French international footballer.