Soccer The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time  

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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
1,502 375
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
1,107 371
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
883 412
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
668 313
Antoine Griezmann is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
678 366
Eric Cantona is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
539 270
Patrick Vieira is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
354 117
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
580 353
Franck Ribéry is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
360 179
Marcel Desailly is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
213 61
N'golo Kanté is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
N'golo Kanté

11
448 203
Paul Pogba is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
383 216
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
284 145
Robert Pirès is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
360 212
Just Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
281 162
Jean-Pierre Papin is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
243 105
Hugo Lloris is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
288 146
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
244 117
Claude Makélélé is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
269 166
Raymond Kopa is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
238 138
Raphaël Varane is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
241 122
Didier Deschamps is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
164 86
David Trezeguet is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
340 240
Karim Benzema is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Forward Karim Mostafa Benzema is a French footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the French national football team as a striker. He is described as an "immensely talented ...more

24
216 131
Fabien Barthez is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Goalkeeper Fabien Alain Barthez is a French former footballer who won honours as a goalkeeper with Marseille, Manchester United and the French national team, with whom he won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and ...more

25
129 57
Emmanuel Petit is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder Emmanuel Laurent "Manu" Petit is a French retired footballer, who played club football for Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea. He represented France at international level, and ...more

26
158 87
Patrice Evra is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender, Midfielder Patrice Latyr Evra is a French international footballer who plays for Italian club Juventus in Serie A. Originally an attacker, he primarily plays as a left-back. Evra, whom Sir Alex Ferguson ...more

27
136 78
Blaise Matuidi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder Blaise Matuidi is a French international footballer who currently plays for French club PSG in Ligue 1 as a central midfielder. He is described as a "fierce and strong tackler." ...more

28
106 61
Bixente Lizarazu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Defender Bixente Lizarazu, initially registered as Vincent Lizarazu, is a retired French footballer who played for Bordeaux and Bayern Munich, among other teams. He also had 97 caps for the French ...more

29
135 95
Jean Tigana is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
92 56
Youri Djorkaeff is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Forward Youri Raffi Djorkaeff is a former French international footballer who played as a forward or as an attacking midfielder. With the French national team, Djorkaeff won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and ...more

31
99 51
Nicolas Anelka is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward, Midfielder Nicolas Sébastien Anelka is a French footballer who is currently a free agent. He last played for Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League. Prior to his retirement from international ...more

32
71 14
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
AdamAmroun1 added Kylian Mbappé Forward

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, starring for the youth academy at Bondy before gaining a move to Monaco, where he made his professional debut in 2015. Mbappé then quickly established himself as a regular goalscorer for the first team in the 2016–17 season, as he helped the club gain their first Ligue 1 title in seventeen years. A year later, he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for €180 million, making him the most expensive teenager, and the world's second-most expensive player. In his debut season in the French capital, Mbappé featured heavily as the club captured a domestic treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France, and Coupe de la Ligue.

Mbappé made his senior debut for France in 2017, after previously representing them at under-17 and under-19 levels. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Mbappé became the youngest French player to score at a World Cup, and became the second teenager, after Pelé, to score in a World Cup Final. France won the tournament, he finished as the joint second-highest goalscorer, and he received the Best Young Player Award for his performances.

33
89 50
Éric Abidal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender, Midfielder Éric Sylvain Abidal is a French retired professional footballer who played as a left back or a central defender. In his career he played mainly for Lyon and Barcelona, winning 21 major ...more

34
71 49
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
87 57
David Ginola is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
bradley-lothian-singer added Forward, Midfielder David Désiré Marc Ginola is a French former international football player who has also worked as an actor and model. Ginola was born in Gassin, Var. He played football for ten ...more

36
135 105
Dimitri Payet is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
uluhan-tepe added Forward, Midfielder Florent Dimitri Payet is a French international footballer who currently plays for French club Olympique de Marseille in Ligue 1. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger and ...more

37
111 75
Laurent Koscielny is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender Laurent Koscielny is a French footballer who plays as a defender for Arsenal and the French national team. He primarily plays as a centre back but he can also play as a right back, a position ...more

38
67 39
William Gallas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender William Éric Gallas is a retired French footballer who played most of his footballing career in England - notably all London teams - before finishing his career in Australia with A-League ...more

39
75 47
Olivier Giroud is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward Olivier Giroud is a French footballer who plays for English club Arsenal in the Premier League and the France national team. He plays as a striker and is known for his size, physical style of ...more

40
23 2
Samuel Umtiti is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender Samuel Umtiti is a French footballer who plays for French club Lyon in Ligue 1. He plays as either a central defender or a left back. Umtiti is a France youth international having represented ...more

41
51 33
Willy Sagnol is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender Willy Sagnol is a former French international footballer who played as a defender and is the current coach of Bordeaux. He spent much of his professional career playing for Bayern Munich in ...more

42
69 60
Alain Giresse is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder Alain Giresse is a retired French international footballer who played as a midfielder. He was French footballer of the year in 1982, 1983 and 1987. Nominally an attacking midfielder or central ...more

43
48 37
Manuel Amoros is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender Manuel Amoros is a French retired football defender of Spanish descent. He was capped 82 times for France, and played in the European Championships finals of 1984 and 1992, and the World Cup ...more

44
50 34
Sylvain Wiltord is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward, Midfielder Sylvain Wiltord is a French former footballer who played as a winger. Highlights of his club career included his four-season spell at Arsenal, with whom he won two Premier League titles and two ...more

45
49 34
Ludovic Giuly is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Ludovic Giuly Winger, Forward, Midfielder Ludovic Giuly is a French footballer, currently playing for Monts d'Or Azergues Foot in the Championnat de France amateur as a attacking midfielder and could also play as a winger. He ...more

46
71 57
Djibril Cissé is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward Djibril Cissé is a French footballer who plays as a striker for SC Bastia in Ligue 1. He is well known for his speed and acceleration. Since 2005, he has been Lord of the Manor of ...more

47
43 31
Florent Malouda is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder Florent Johan Malouda is a French professional footballer who plays as a left winger for Ligue 1 side FC Metz. He spent most of his career at Lyon and Chelsea, winning four consecutive Ligue 1 ...more

48
33 29
Roger Piantoni is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward Roger Piantoni is a former French international footballer.

49
40 38
Basile Boli is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Defender Basile Boli is a French former footballer and current television sports presenter.

50
42 40
Frank Leboeuf is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
bradley-lothian-singer added Defender Franck Alain James Lebœuf is an actor, sports commentator and former French international footballer who played primarily as a central defender. With the French national team, Leboeuf won the ...more