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
1,751 461
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
1,290 473
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
1,067 471
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
644 321
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
822 409
Antoine Griezmann is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
792 472
Eric Cantona is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
521 190
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
444 223
Marcel Desailly is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
453 248
Just Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
330 125
N'golo Kanté is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
N'golo Kanté

11
335 196
Raymond Kopa is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
333 196
Jean-Pierre Papin is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
550 267
Paul Pogba is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
451 259
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
672 436
Franck Ribéry is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
350 182
Laurent Blanc is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
293 168
Claude Makélélé is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
215 104
David Trezeguet is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
309 163
Didier Deschamps is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
331 206
Robert Pirès is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
307 154
Hugo Lloris is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
292 166
Raphaël Varane is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
247 156
Fabien Barthez is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
131 39
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 24 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.

25
171 107
Jean Tigana is listed (or ranked) 25 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