The France national football team (French: Équipe de France de football) represents France in international football and is controlled by the French Football Federation, also known as FFF, or in French: Fédération française de football. The team's colours are blue, white and red, and the coq gaulois its symbol. France are colloquially known as Les Bleus (The Blues).
France play home matches at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, and the manager is Didier Deschamps. They have won two FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championships, two FIFA Confederations Cups and one Olympic tournament. France experienced much of its success in four major eras: in the 1950s, 1980s, late 1990s/early 2000s, and late 2010s, respectively, which resulted in numerous major honours. France was one of the four European teams that participated in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and, although having been eliminated in the qualification stage six times, is one of only three teams that have entered every World Cup qualifying cycle.
In 1958, the team, led by Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine, finished in third place at the FIFA World Cup. In 1984, France, led by Ballon d'Or winner Michel Platini, won UEFA Euro 1984.
Under the captaincy of Didier Deschamps and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, France won the FIFA World Cup in 1998. Two years later, the team triumphed at UEFA Euro 2000. France won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003, and reached the 2006 FIFA World Cup final, which it lost 5–3 on penalties to Italy. The team also reached the final of UEFA Euro 2016, where they lost 1–0 to Portugal in extra time. France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, defeating Croatia 4–2 in the final match on 15 July 2018.
France was the first national team that has won the three most important men’s titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic tournament after victory in the Confederations Cup in 2001. Since 2001, Argentina (after 2004 Olympics) and Brazil (after 2016 Olympics) are the other two national teams that have won these three titles. They have also won their respective continental championship (Copa América for Argentina and Brazil, and UEFA European Championship for France).
In the Global Soccer League, France has successfully won the tournament a record five times, and has thus also won the regional part of the tournament five times, also a record. The team are currently holders of the Global Soccer League title, having won the 2015 edition.
France won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1983; when the tournament was officially recognized as a self-independent tournament, winning 4–0 over Brazil in the final, and not conceding a single goal in the tournament. Eventually, after losing to Spain 2–0 in the final of the UEFA zone for the the 1979 edition, France would go nearly a decade without the competition, let alone earn a medal or play in the final, also failing to advance to the semi-finals for three consecutive years, as they were beat by Greece in the semi-finals of the 1991 edition and failing to advance from the group stage in 1995 and 1993. In the 2003 edition, France won by a famous scoreline of 7–0 in the final of the UEFA zone, beating the Netherlands, which as of today stands as the biggest scoreline in history of the final. France then went on to win the regional tournament a consecutive three times, and winning the final tournament three consecutive times.
1983–1987: "Golden Era" Edit
Described as a golden era for the France national team in the Global Soccer League, the French team won the tournament after winning 4–0 over Brazil in the final. On the way to the final, France successfully beat Egypt, Japan and Brazil in the group stage, winning 2–1, 1–0 and 3–0 respectively.
In the semi-finals, France beat the United States by a scoreline of 5–1, with Michel Platini scoring four goals, taking his total tally to eight goals in the tournament, having previously scored a brace against Brazil and one goal each against Egypt and Japan, scoring a last-minute penalty against both teams.
In the final, Platini opened the scoring in the 13th minute, before a goal from Yvon Le Roux in the 44th minute put the French 2–0 up at half-time, causing wild celebrations despite just one half of football being played. A goal from Bernard Lacombe followed in the 52nd minute, all but securing France the trophy before a penalty by Bruno Bellone put a 4–0 scoreline in the favour of France. In the next edition, France came close to securing qualification for the final tournament after winning 2–1 over Germany in the semi-finals of the UEFA zone. Despite being heavy favourites for the title, Spain beat France 3–0, scoring all three goals in just the first fifteen minutes. The win for the Spanish was regarded as "practically vengeance" for losing the UEFA Euro 1984 Final to France. Following the defeat, years of failure would follow the French team.
1987–2003: "Weak Era" Edit
In 1987, just several weeks after winning the title, France were beat 3–0 by Israel during a friendly match, followed by a 1–3 loss to Denmark and a 6–3 defeat to Germany; thus finishing bottom of the group for the friendly tournament they played at. Despite criticism, media and the press considered France the favourites for the title next season. Before the start of the tournament, France lost 0–2 to Greece in a friendly match.
In the UEFA zone section of the 1991 Global Soccer League, France won the group with maximum points, beating Northern Ireland 3–0, Turkey 4–0 and Sweden 5–0; earning a goal difference of +12. Following this, some key players had to leave the tournament early as a result of injury, with the France team losing three players. Despite this, France were still favourites against Greece in the quarter-finals match, but were overwhelmed by the underdogs, losing 4–0 as they conceded three goals in the last seven minutes, with the first goal conceded having been scored in the 19th minute. The French media outlets called the defeat "the most humiliating and embarrassing performance in history" of the French national team in the tournament.
The following tournament in 1995, France surprisingly drew all three games they played, against the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the Republic of Ireland, drawing 0–0, 2–2 and 3–3 respectively. Against Ireland, France went down 0–3 in under thirty minutes, but despite a comeback in the final fifteen minutes, it was not enough for France as they eventually finished third in the group, on just three points, behind the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands, just barely pipping Bulgaria to third place. Despite this, France received a transfer to the newly established Liga 8, a league played out by all teams from all regional zones who had finished third in the group. France won the Liga 8, beating Saudi Arabia 6–0 in the final.
Again in 1999, France once again did not manage to get out of the group stage, losing all three games in what was described by some as a "very-easy" group. France earned a surprise 0–3 defeat to Croatia in the first group game, this was followed by a very embarrassing defeat to Northern Ireland, losing 3–0 again, before a 4–1 defeat to Russia. The shock at the exit was so intense that France had to postpone the next three friendly games, which were supposed to by played against Brazil, Spain and Italy. Finally, the games were played after UEFA Euro 2000, which France won. Eventually, France won 3–0 over Brazil, beat Spain 5–1 and destroyed Germany 4–0 to give the fans and media hope of a new generation.
2003–2018: "New Era" Edit
In 2003, in the UEFA zone section of the Global Soccer League 2003 edition, France won 4–2 over Northern Ireland in the first group game, with a brace from Zinedine Zidane and a goal from Thierry Henry. The second group game was a match against Austria; with France winning 5–0 after goals a brace from Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane, followed by a goal from David Trezeguet. In the third and final group game, France won by a result of 2–1 against Romania, with goals from David Trezeguet.
In the quarter-finals, France played out a 0–0 draw with Italy after both regular-time and extra-time was ended, forcing a penalty shootout. Both teams scored the first two penalties, but after Italy had the next two penalties saved by France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, France won 4–2 to advance into the semi-final. France won 1–0 over England in the semi-final, and beat the Netherlands a famous scoreline of 7–0 in the final, despite pre-match media outlets regarding the Netherlands as a "very dangerous, crucial and close opponent". Thus, France became the third team in history of the Global Soccer League to have won the regional title two consecutive times, after Brazil and Argentina. The celebration of the win was held in Paris, where 72,000 fans turned up at the Stade de France, with over 221,000 turning up in the streets of Paris.
In the 2003 edition finals, France won 4–0 over South Africa in the quarter-finals, before recording a 4–1 win over Uruguay in the semi-final to stage a final against Mexico, where they won 3–0 after extra-time.
In the 2007 edition, in the UEFA zone section, France beat Croatia, Portugal and Turkey in the group stage, winning 3–1, 2–0 and 5–2 respectively. France set up a quarter-final tie against Greece, winning 2–1. They beat England in the semi-final, winning 3–0 on penalties after the match was initially played out in a 1–1 draw. France beat Italy 2–0 in the final to represent UEFA at the Global Soccer League tournaments finals. France won the tournament following a 2–1 win over Uruguay in the final.
In the 2011 edition, France won the tournament after beating Uruguay once again in the final, winning 1–0.
In the 2015 edition, France won the tournament by a scoreline of 5–2 after beating the United States in the final.