Sports
6.4k voters

The Best French Soccer Players & Footballers of All Time

Updated August 25, 2021 59.5k votes 6.4k voters 140.7k views220 items

List RulesFrench 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.
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  • 1
    2,714
    984

    Zinedine Zidane

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceMarseille, France

    NationalityFrance

    Zinedine Yazid Zidane (French pronunciation: ​[zinedin jazid zidan]; born 23 June 1972), nicknamed "Zizou" (pronounced [zizu]), is a French former professional football player and current manager of...  more

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  • 2
    1,908
    726

    Michel Platini

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceJœuf, France

    NationalityFrance

    Michel François Platini (born 21 June 1955) is a French former football player, manager and administrator. As the president of UEFA in 2015 he was banned from football, over ethics violations....  more
  • 3
    2,046
    958

    Thierry Henry

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceLes Ulis, France

    NationalityFrance

    Thierry Daniel Henry (French pronunciation: ​[tjɛʁi ɑ̃ʁi]; born 17 August 1977) is a French professional football coach and former player who was most recently the manager of Ligue 1 club...  more

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  • 4
    841
    399

    Raymond Kopa

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceNœux-les-Mines, France

    NationalityFrance

    Raymond Kopa (French pronunciation: ​[ʁɛmɔ̃ kɔpa]; birth name Raymond Kopaszewski; 13 October 1931 – 3 March 2017) was a French footballer, integral to the French national team of the 1950s. At club...  more
  • 5
    790
    397

    BirthplaceMarrakesh, Morocco

    NationalityFrance

    Just Louis Fontaine (pronounced [ʒyst fɔ̃.tɛn]; born 18 August 1933) is a retired French professional footballer. A prolific forward, he is best known for scoring the most goals in a single edition...  more
  • 6
    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...  more

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    #8 of 348 The Best Current Soccer Players#72 of 96 The All-Around Best Athletes of 2019

  • 7
    1,477
    752

    Antoine Griezmann

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceMâcon, France

    NationalityFrance

    Antoine Griezmann (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃twan ɡʁijɛzman]; born 21 March 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the French national...  more
  • 8
    543
    255

    Jean Tigana

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceBamako, Mali

    NationalityFrance, Mali

    Amadou Jean Tigana (born 23 June 1955) is a former French international footballer, having played in midfield and managed professional football extensively throughout France, including 52 appearances...  more
  • 9
    480
    153

    BirthplaceSaintes, Charente-Maritime, France

    NationalityFrance

    Dominique Rocheteau (French pronunciation: ​[dɔminik ʁɔʃəto]; born 14 January 1955) is a French former international football winger. He played in the final tournament of three World Cups, scoring at...  more
  • 10
    430
    194

    Alain Giresse

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceLangoiran, France

    NationalityFrance

    Alain Jean Giresse (French pronunciation: ​[alɛ̃ ʒiʁɛs]; born 2 August 1952) is a French football coach and former player who played as a midfielder. He was French footballer of the year in 1982,...  more
  • 11
    393
    160

    BirthplaceLyon, France

    NationalityFrance, Armenia

    Youri Raffi Djorkaeff (French pronunciation: ​[juʁi raffi djɔʁkaɛf]; born 9 March 1968) is a French former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder and a striker. With the French...  more

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    #73 of 164 The Best Soccer Players of the '90s#2 of 101 The Best Soccer Players from Armenia

  • 12
    510
    244

    BirthplaceSainte-Anne, Guadeloupe, Guadeloupe

    NationalityFrance

    Marius Paul Trésor (born 15 January 1950) is a French former professional footballer who played as a defender. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers. He is considered...  more
  • 13
    381
    166

    BirthplaceSaint-André-Treize-Voies, France

    NationalityFrance

    Maxime Jean Marcel Bossis (French pronunciation: ​[maksim bɔsi]; born 26 June 1955 in Saint-André-Treize-Voies, Vendée) is a French former footballer who played as a defender. Bossis spent most of...  more
  • 14
    560
    278

    David Trezeguet

    Forward

    BirthplaceRouen, France

    NationalityFrance, Argentina

    David Sergio Trezeguet (French pronunciation: ​[david sɛʁʒjo tʁezəɡɛ]; born 15 October 1977) is a French former footballer who played as a striker. Trezeguet began his career in Argentina with Club...  more
  • 15
    418
    194

    Larbi Benbarek

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceCasablanca, Morocco

    NationalityFrance,Morocco

    Larbi Benbarek or Larbi Ben Mbarek (Arabic: العربي بن مبارك‎ – also known as the Black Pearl; born 16 June 1914 – died 16 September 1992) was a Moroccan football player recognized as the first...  more
  • 16
    740
    376

    N'golo Kanté

  • 17
    337
    84

    BirthplaceLabeuvrière, France

    NationalityFrance

    Jean Vincent (29 November 1930 – 13 August 2013) was a French international footballer and manager....  more
  • 18
    430
    201

    BirthplaceÉtain, France

    NationalityFrance

    Roger Piantoni (26 December 1931 – 26 May 2018) was a French international footballer. He was the star, inside-forward on the French team in the late 1950s. During the 1949–1950 season, he was the...  more
  • 19
    333
    143

    Emmanuel Petit

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceDieppe, France

    NationalityFrance

    Emmanuel Laurent Petit (French pronunciation: ​[ɛmanɥɛl pəti]; born 22 September 1970) is a French former footballer who played at club level for Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea as a...  more
  • 20
    669
    369

    BirthplaceBoulogne-sur-Mer, France

    NationalityFrance

    Jean-Pierre Roger Guillaume Papin (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃ pjɛʁ papɛ̃]; born 5 November 1963) is a French former professional footballer who played as a forward, and who was named the European...  more
  • 21
    872
    487

    BirthplaceLyon, France

    NationalityFrance

    Karim Mostafa Benzema (French pronunciation: ​[kaʁim bɛnzema]; born 19 December 1987) is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Real Madrid and the France national...  more
  • 22
    1,010
    604

    Patrick Vieira

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceDakar, Senegal

    NationalitySenegal, France

    Patrick Vieira (born 23 June 1976) is a French professional football head coach and former player. He is the manager of Nice. Considered one of the best players of his generation, Vieira began his...  more

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  • 23
    278
    62

    Julien Darui

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceOberkorn, Luxembourg

    NationalityFrance,Luxembourg

    Julien Darui (16 February 1916 – 13 December 1987) was a French football goalkeeper, who had stints as a coach after his playing career. ...  more
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    285
    118

    BirthplaceNîmes, France

    NationalityFrance

    Manuel Amoros (born 1 February 1962) is a French former football defender. He was capped 82 times for France, and played in the European Championships finals of 1984 and 1992, and the World Cup...  more
  • 25
    398
    217

    Fabien Barthez

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceLavelanet, France

    NationalityFrance

    Fabien Alain Barthez (French pronunciation: ​[fabjɛ̃ baʁtɛz]; born 28 June 1971) is a French former footballer and racing driver who played as a goalkeeper. At club level, he played football in both...  more
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List Rules: French soccer players only.