Euro 2020: The greatest France XI of all time


Football in France has witnessed international glory in multiple short periods over the last century. A rather unsettled football structure after World War II was followed by a series of successful years in 1950s and 1980s. Then came a lull of more than 20 years, followed by a long period of international consistency. With Euro 2020 around the corner, we have a look at the greatest France XI of all time.

France witnessed its best period in international football in 1998 and 2000

France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final
France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final

France stormed to the Euro 1984 title led by Ballon d'Or Michel Platini, which was Les Bleus' first major international title. France finished top of their group and got the better of Portugal and Spain in the knockouts. After a couple of dwindling decades in international competitions, France got the second taste of international silverware with the biggest prize of world sport, the FIFA World Cup 1998.

France, led by Didier Deschamps, finished top of Group C and eased past Paraguay, Italy and Croatia in the knock-out rounds to set up their final clash with Brazil. Zinedine Zidane's individual heroics in the final gave the French nation its first World Cup title.

The sheer run of form and might continued at Euro 2000. France was led by FIFA Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane himself as they faced Italy in the final. Sylvain Wiltord gave France the lead before Marco Delvecchi equalized. David Trezeguet scored in extra time to send the home crowd into the absolute wilderness.

France came close to a second European glory at Euro 2016, only to be humbled by Portugal in the final before winning a second World Cup title in 2018. Reigned by former World Cup winning captain Didier Deschamps, France, led by Hugo Lloris faced Croatia in the final in Russia, which went 4-2 to the French national team.

Many great players have played their part in these triumphs. Without further ado, let's have a look at the greatest XI we think have played for Les Bleus.

Goalkeeper - Hugo Lloris

France v Ukraine - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
France v Ukraine - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

Hugo Lloris is the current captain of the French side and his club Tottenham Hotspur. Lloris represented his nation at U-18 and U-21 levels before making his senior team debut in a friendly against Uruguay in 2008. As captain of the French national team, Lloris has led Les Bleus to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 and FIFA World Cup 2014.

France came close to winning Euro 2016 under Lloris' captaincy and finished as runners-up before bagging the ultimate prize in the FIFA World Cup 2018. Lloris is France's most capped goalkeeper with 124 international appearances, overtaking Fabien Barthez. Lloris has played a vital part in France's recent resurgence into the top level of international football and is known for reflex saves and quick reactionary movement at goal.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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