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Top 10 French footballers of all time

Robin Bairner
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23.56K   //    22 Aug 2017, 23:57 IST

Just Fontaine wearing the French team : News Photo
Just Fontaine

French football has a long and distinguished history, having been the nation that, perhaps more than any other, shaped the modern game.

European club competitions, such as the Champions League, were conceived by the French, and while their clubs have had limited success on that scene, over the past two decades, they have boasted one of the finest national teams in the world, with a tremendous depth in talent.

There are, therefore, numerous outstanding players missing from this list, among them David Trezeguet, Laurent Blanc and Patrick Vieira, but here are the 10 finest French players of all time:

#10 Just Fontaine

Born in Morocco, Just Fontaine’s name continues to live in footballing history as the player who has scored more goals than any other at a single World Cup tournament. In 1958, he scored an incredible 13 in only six outings as France finished third behind Pele’s Brazil and hosts Sweden.

But Fontaine was not merely a one-summer wonder. On both the French domestic front and European scene he was a prolific scorer. He was the leading scorer in the European Cup of 1958-59, despite his Reims side falling to Real Madrid in the final.

He finished his career having scored nearly a goal per game over the course of 12 years.

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Robin Bairner
UK-based freelance football journalist for the last decade, I've appeared in publications such as the Guardian, the Blizzard, When Saturday Comes, but can most frequently be found on I write about European football, and have worked at both World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016.
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