Sports

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
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
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
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
Raymond Kopa is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
Jean-Pierre Papin is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Just Fontaine is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
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
Patrick Vieira is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Antoine Griezmann is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
David Trezeguet is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Marcel Desailly is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
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
Kylian Mbappé is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
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
Karim Benzema is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Jean Tigana is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Roger Piantoni is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward
Roger Piantoni is a former French international footballer.
19
N'golo Kanté is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
N'golo Kanté
20
Larbi Benbarek is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Midfielder
Larbi Benbarek or Larbi Ben Mbarek was a Moroccan football player recognized as the first successful African player in Europe. He was the first player to bear the nickname of Black Pearl. Larbi ...more
21
Dominique Rocheteau is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Forward
Dominique Rocheteau is a former football striker from France, who is currently the head of the National Commission of Ethics of the French Football Association. Rocheteau began his professional ...more
22
Maxime Bossis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time
Defender
Maxime Bossis is a retired football defender from France, who obtained 76 caps for the French national team.
23
Alain Giresse is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Raphaël Varane is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Laurent Blanc is listed (or ranked) 25 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