7 Best French Soccer Midfielders Of All-Time

7 Best French Soccer Midfielders Of All-Time

France has produced some of the greatest midfielders in the game’s illustrious history. French midfield maestros and powerhouses have achieved monumental things whilst representing Europe’s finest teams, excelling on the continent and often driving their nation to international glory!

But who are the best French Soccer Midfielders of all time?

7. Jean Tigana

Jean Tigana

One of the greatest French Soccer Midfielders of all-time is Jean Tigana. He established himself as an international star during his nation’s 1984 European Championship winning campaign, named French Player of the Year that same year and was also instrumental at the 1986 World Cup. Tigana claimed 52 caps for his country with his only international goal coming against Hungary.

The central midfielder played for some fantastic teams within the French leagues including Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille. Tigana registered 544 appearances during his club career, scoring 38 goals whilst winning four Ligue 1 titles and finishing second in the 1984 Ballon d’Or.

6. Franck Ribery

Franck Ribery

Ribery’s international debut came in 2006. He played for France over the course of eight years, earning a total of 81 caps and scoring 16 goals for his country. Ribery helped his nation reach the 2006 World Cup final, winning French Player of the Year three times and placing third at the 2013 Ballon d’Or.

He is one of the best French Soccer Midfielders of all-time. Ribery featured most notably for Marseille, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina, scoring 161 club goals in 715 matches. He won an impressive nine Bundesliga titles, six German cups along with the Champions League in 2013.

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    5. Didier Deschamps

    Didier Deschamps

    Didier Deschamps first featured for the French national side in 1989 and sits ninth on the all-
    time appearance list having accumulated 103 caps. He captained the 1998 World Cup winning side, repeating the feat two years later at the 2000 European Championship and was named French Player of the Year in 1996.

    He remains one of the greatest French Soccer Midfielders of all-time. Deschamps played for
    such teams as Nantes, Marseille and Juventus, scoring 21 times in 561 appearances. He won two Ligue 1 titles, a Serie A honour along with two Champions League successes whilst at both Marseille and Juventus.

    4. Raymond Kopa

    Raymond Kopa

    Raymond Kopa featured in 244 matches across European football for clubs such as Reims and Spanish giants Real Madrid. Over an eighteen-year period, he struck 123 goals and won the Ballon d’Or in 1958 whilst at the Bernabeu along with three consecutive European Cups.

    Amongst the best French Soccer Midfielders of all-time, Kopa made his first international appearance in 1952, playing a decade for France and scoring 18 goals in 45 caps. He featured at both the 1952 and 1958 World Cups along with appearances at the 1960 European Championship. Kopa even has FIFA’s prestigious annual trophy for the game’s best young talent named after him.

    3. Patrick Vieira

    Patrick Vieira

    As one of the greatest French Soccer Midfielders of all-time, Patrick Vieira featured 107 times for France, the eighth highest total in his country’s history and scored six goals. He formed part of the national team that won both the 1998 World Cup and European Championship in 2000. His most notable international goal was the winning strike versus Japan in the final of 2001’s FIFA Confederations Cup. Vieira was named France Player of the Year in 2001 and as part of the FIFA 100 in 2004.

    He recorded 650 appearances for teams such as Arsenal, Inter Milan and Manchester City, scoring 58 goals for his club sides. He won four Serie A titles, the Premier League three times and was also awarded Arsenal Player of the Season for 2000-01.

    2. Zinedine Zidane

    Zinedine Zidane

    Zinedine Zidane earned 108 caps for France and scored 31 goals for the national side. The powerful playmaker was enigmatic during both their 1998 World Cup success and victory at the European Championship two years later. He is regarded as perhaps France’s most naturally gifted talent ever.

    Among the best French Soccer Midfielders of all-time, Zidane played in some of Europe’s top leagues for the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid, registering 695 appearances and scoring 125 goals for his clubs. He won Serie A titles, a La Liga trophy and the European Cup with Los Blancos in 2002.

    1. Michel Platini

    Michel Platini

    Michel Platini is considered by many to be the best French Soccer Midfielder of all-time. He earned 72 caps for France, scoring 41 times and was famously part of their 1984 European Championship winning team. Platini was also awarded three consecutive Ballon d’Or honours between 1983 and 1985!

    The Attacking Midfielder spent the majority of his playing career at Saint Etienne and Italian side Juventus, making a total of 580 club appearances whilst scoring an impressive 312 goals. He won a handful of French honours and whilst in Italy claimed two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia along with the European Cup in 1985.

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