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.

1
1,422 352
Zinedine Zidane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Zinedine Zidane 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
1,038 355
Thierry Henry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Thierry Henry 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
839 387
Michel Platini is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Michel Platini 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
605 278
Antoine Griezmann is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
uluhan-tepe added Antoine Griezmann 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
647 345
Eric Cantona is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Eric Cantona 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
506 249
Patrick Vieira is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Patrick Vieira 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
292 88
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Kylian Mbappé 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
552 337
Franck Ribéry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Franck Ribéry 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
172 43
N'golo Kanté is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
N'golo Kanté

10
397 182
Paul Pogba is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Paul Pogba 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

11
330 172
Marcel Desailly is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Marcel Desailly 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

12
267 132
Robert Pirès is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Robert Pirès 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

13
357 205
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Lilian Thuram 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
344 200
Just Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Just Fontaine 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
268 153
Jean-Pierre Papin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Jean-Pierre Papin 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
271 136
Laurent Blanc is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Laurent Blanc 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

17
228 111
Claude Makélélé is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Claude Makélélé 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

18
213 95
Hugo Lloris is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Hugo Lloris 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

19
257 158
Raymond Kopa is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Raymond Kopa 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
221 116
Didier Deschamps is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Didier Deschamps 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

21
215 130
Raphaël Varane is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
scruffenstein added Raphaël Varane 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

22
208 122
Fabien Barthez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Fabien Barthez 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

23
119 50
Emmanuel Petit is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Emmanuel Petit 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

24
151 83
David Trezeguet is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
bradley-lothian-singer added David Trezeguet 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

25
320 231
Karim Benzema is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
pablocrub added Karim Benzema 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

26
150 78
Patrice Evra is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Patrice Evra 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
132 89
Jean Tigana is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Jean Tigana 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

28
126 69
Blaise Matuidi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Blaise Matuidi 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

29
88 52
Youri Djorkaeff is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Youri Djorkaeff 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

30
99 58
Bixente Lizarazu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Bixente Lizarazu 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

31
93 49
Nicolas Anelka is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Nicolas Anelka 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
86 53
David Ginola is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
bradley-lothian-singer added David Ginola 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

33
70 47
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Marius Trésor 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

34
85 49
Éric Abidal is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Éric Abidal 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

35
107 74
Laurent Koscielny is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Laurent Koscielny 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

36
127 101
Dimitri Payet is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
uluhan-tepe added Dimitri Payet 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
48 9
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 37 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.

38
64 39
William Gallas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
William Gallas 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
47 34
Manuel Amoros is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Manuel Amoros 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

40
49 31
Willy Sagnol is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Willy Sagnol 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

41
68 57
Alain Giresse is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Alain Giresse 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

42
49 32
Sylvain Wiltord is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Sylvain Wiltord 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

43
69 55
Djibril Cissé is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Djibril Cissé 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

44
64 44
Olivier Giroud is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Olivier Giroud 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

45
47 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
42 30
Florent Malouda is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Florent Malouda 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

47
33 26
Roger Piantoni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Roger Piantoni Forward Roger Piantoni is a former French international footballer.

48
40 35
Basile Boli is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Tom Šmíd added Basile Boli Defender Basile Boli is a French former footballer and current television sports presenter.

49
42 37
Frank Leboeuf is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
bradley-lothian-singer added Frank Leboeuf 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

50
32 25
Patrick Battiston is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Patrick Battiston Defender Patrick Battiston is a former French football player, who played for the France national team in three World Cups and won the 1984 European Football Championship.