Category: "France"

4. Zinedine Zidane

08/25/2014
Football against poverty 2014 - Zinedine Zidane

Football against poverty 2014 – Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed “Zizou” is one of the players who has won everything.

Considered a national hero in France for his performance with the national team (even after the expulsion during the final of the 2006 World Cup), Zizou is famous for his performances at club level.

With Real Madrid and Juventus, he won the UEFA Champions League in 2001-02 (2 times runner-up), two Serie A (1996–97 and 1997–98) and La Liga (2002-03).

France won the 1998 World Cup against Brazil thanks to Zidane’s two goals in the 1998 World Cup final. It was in this year that Zidane won the Ballon d’Or.

Zidane’s achievements also include winning the UEFA European Football Championship in 2000 and reaching the final of the World Cup in 2006. He is, with Pelé, Vava and Paul Breitner, one of the only players to score goals during two different World Cup finals.

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45. Didier Deschamps

08/25/2014
Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps

During his distinguished career, Didier Deschamps played as a midfielder for Nantes, Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia and for the French national team.

Thanks to his tenacity and stamina, Deschamps won two Champions Leagues (with Marseille in 1992-93 and Juventus in 1995-96), two Ligue 1s (1989–90 and 1991–92), three Serie As (1994–95, 1996–97 and 1997–98) and an FA Cup with Chelsea (2000).

Best French player of 1996 according to France Football, Deschamps captained the French “Golden generation” to victories in the World Cup in France in 1998 and the 2000 European Championship. He set a new record of 52 games as French captain.

Didier Deschamps played 665 official games, scoring 25 goals.

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39. Lilian Thuram

08/25/2014
Lilian Thuram

Lilian Thuram

One of the best central defenders during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Thuram played for Monaco, Parma and Juventus (and few matches for Barcelona).

With Parma, he won the Europa league in 1998-99 and with Juventus, he won two Serie As in a row (2001-02 and 2002-03).

Thuram’s biggest successes were with the French team where he is the most capped player (142 apps).

Although he scored only two goals with the national team, both was against Croatia during the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup helping secure a comeback 2-1 victory. The result? A world Cup in 1998 and a European Championship in 2000.

Best foreign player of the Italian championship in 1997 and best French player in 1997 according to France Football, Thuram is unquestionably one of the best of his generation.

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31. Patrick Vieira

08/25/2014
Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

Recognized for his winning mentality, Vieira was tactically intelligent with incredible strength and stamina.

With Arsenal (9 years in the club) he won three Premier League titles during the season 1997-98, 2001-02 and most famously as captain of the “Invincibles” who went unbeaten for the whole of the 2003-04 season. With the Gunners he also won four FA Cups (1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2004–05) and four Community Shields.

Vieira stayed just one year with Juventus because of the Calciopoli scandal, moving on to Internazionale where he won four Italian championship titles in four years (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10) and two Supercopas (2006 and 2008).

With France, Vieira won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship and helped the French team reach the final of the 2006 World Cup with two consecutive matches with one goal and one assist.

For many years Vieira was a pillar of the French national team (107 games, 6 goals).

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25. Michel Platini

08/25/2014
Michel Platini holding aloft the Ballon d'Or in Juventus colours in 1985.

Michel Platini holding aloft the Ballon d’Or in Juventus colours in 1985.

Probably one of the most skilful players of all time, Michel Platini led the French national team to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1982 and 1986 and to victory in the European Championship in 1984.

After playing for Nancy and St Etienne where he won the French Championnat in 1980-81, it was with Juventus in Italy that he obtained his greatest successes in club football.

With Juventus, Platini won the Champions League in 1984-85 (runner-up in 1982-83), one European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983-84 and two Serie A (1983-84 and 1985-86).

According to the all-time ranking published in 2009, Michel Platini was elected by fans best Bianconero of all time.

Platini is the first footballer to win the Ballon d’Or three times in a row (1983, 1984 and 1985) and was selected for the FIFA World Team of the XX Century.

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17. Thierry Henry

08/25/2014
Thierry Henry 2008

Thierry Henry 2008

Seen by many as one of, or simply the best, player to have played in the Premier League, Henry is considered one of the best strikers of his generation.

During eight seasons with Arsenal, Henry became a prolific striker and Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer with 228 goals, winning two league titles, three FA Cups and, as club captain, leading Arsenal to the 2005-06 Champions League final.

With players like Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera and Henry, Arsenal became, in 2004, the first team in more than a century to go through the entire domestic league season unbeaten.

Henry left for FC Barcelona in 2007, realizing an historic six-trophy haul in 2009 with La Liga / Copa del Rey / Supercopa de Espana / Champions League / UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Henry became the first ever French player to play in four World Cups, winning the competition in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. He also broke the goal scoring record for France (51) and became the second most capped rench player (123) behind Thuram.

Despite his magnificent success with Arsenal and France, Henry was, incredibly, never awarded the Ballon d’Or, coming second and third in 2003 and 2006 respectively.

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