Famous French Football Players

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Find out more about the greatest French Football Players, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Anthony Martial, Zinedine Zidane, Karim Benzema and Thierry Henry.
Vote for Your Favourite French Football Players
 1 
Kylian Mbappé
(French Footballer Who Plays as a Forward and is Considered One of the Best Players in the World)
Kylian Mbappé
65
Birthdate: December 20, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Regarded as one of the best footballers of the current generation, Kylian Mbappé became only the second teenager to score a goal in the final game of a World Cup. Known for his explosive speed and dribbling skills, Mbappé made an impact at a young age. Very mature for his age, he also believes in giving back to society.

 2 
Paul Pogba
(French Professional Football Player Who Plays as Midfielder)
Paul Pogba
52
Birthdate: March 15, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lagny-sur-Marne, France

Paul Pogba is a prominent football player for the English club Manchester United; in 2016 he was transferred from Juventus to Manchester United for a then-world record transfer fee of £89.3 million, which remains the highest paid fee by any English club. Also an important member of the France national team, he helped France win the 2018 World Cup.

 3 
Karim Benzema
(French Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Striker)
Karim Benzema
20
Birthdate: December 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lyon, France

Karim Benzema is a French football player often described as strong, powerful, and immensely talented striker. Over the years, Karim has gained the reputation of not missing an opportunity to score a goal once he gets inside the penalty area. In 2010, he got into legal trouble after visiting a 16-year-old prostitute in Paris. The charges were dropped in 2014.

 4 
Antoine Griezmann
(Footballer)
Antoine Griezmann
40
Birthdate: March 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mâcon, France

Antoine Griezmann is a French football player. A key member of the France national team, Antoine Griezmann helped his team win the 2018 FIFA World Cup by scoring a goal and assisting another in France's 4-2 win against Croatia. Also an esports enthusiast, Griezmann launched an esports organisation called Grizi Esport in 2020.

 5 
N'Golo Kante
(Association football player)
N'Golo Kante
16
Birthdate: March 29, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

N'Golo Kante is a French football player who currently plays for the France national team as well as Chelsea FC. Widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, Kanté played a major role in helping his former team Leicester City win their first Premier League title. He also helped France win its second World Cup in 2018.

 6 
Olivier Giroud
(French Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Striker)
Olivier Giroud
19
Birthdate: September 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chambéry, France

Olivier Giroud is a football player and a prominent member of the France national team. He played a key role in helping his team win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Thanks to his popularity, Giroud has been a major media personality in France, with appearances in commercials for brands like Hugo Boss and Puma.

 7 
Ousmane Dembele
(Association football player)
Ousmane Dembele
14
Birthdate: May 15, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vernon, Eure Vernon, France

Ousmane Dembele is a footballer who currently plays for the France national team as well as Barcelona. Renowned for his speed, agility, and technical ability, Dembele helped his national team win its second FIFA World Cup in 2018. A skillful player, Dembele can use either foot while playing. Although a mid-fielder, he is also known for his ability to score.  

 8 
Franck Ribéry
(One of the Best Football Players of His Generation)
Franck Ribéry
16
Birthdate: April 7, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Franck Ribéry is a French football player who currently plays for the Italian football club, Salernitana. Ribéry plays as a midfielder and is renowned for his precise passing, pace, and skill. Recognized as one of the best footballers of his generation, Franck Ribéry was once referred to as the jewel of French football by former captain Zinedine Zidane.

 9 
Raphaël Varane
(Footballer centre-back)
Raphaël Varane
11
Birthdate: April 25, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lille, France
 10 
Zinedine Zidane
(French Professional Football Manager and Former Player Who Played as an Attacking Midfielder)
Zinedine Zidane
44
Birthdate: June 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Castellane, Marseille, France

Amongst the greatest footballers of all time, Zinedine Zidane led France to victories in the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. Later, the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year took up the position of Real Madrid manager and carved yet another success story by winning major titles like Champions League and UEFA Super Cups.

 11 
Thierry Henry
(Former French Professional Football Player, Coach and One of the Greatest Strikers of All Time)
Thierry Henry
31
Birthdate: August 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Les Ulis, France

A football coach, Thierry Henry began his career as a player with Monaco team and later also played for Arsenal and Barcelona. A lethal striker, he became a record goal scorer for both France and Arsenal. He played a crucial role in the French victory in 1998 FIFA World Cup and Arsenal’s win in Premier League and the FA Cup.

 12 
Anthony Martial
(French Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Forward)
Anthony Martial
16
Birthdate: December 5, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Massy, France
Footballer Anthony Martial began his career playing for Les Ulis, Lyon, and AS Monaco. He then signed with Manchester United for the highest fee paid to a teenager back then, and won the 2015–2016 FA Cup. He won the Golden Boy Award for the best European player under 21.
 13 
Hugo Lloris
(French Football Player Who Plays as a Goalkeeper)
Hugo Lloris
7
Birthdate: December 26, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nice, France

Hugo Lloris is a French football player and the current captain of the France national team as well as the popular club Tottenham Hotspur. One of the most popular goalkeepers of his generation, Lloris has won the prestigious Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year award on three occasions. Hugo Lloris also helped his team win the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

 14 
Eric Cantona
(French Actor and One of the Greatest Footballers of His Generation)
Eric Cantona
26
Birthdate: May 24, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marseille, France

Eric Cantona is a French actor, filmmaker, and former football player. During his playing career, Cantona was a key player for the popular football club Manchester United and is often credited with reviving the club's reputation as a footballing force. Nicknamed King Eric by Manchester United fans, Eric Cantona continues to enjoy an iconic status within the club.

 15 
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
(Professional Footballer and Gabon's All-Time Top Goalscorer)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
33
Birthdate: June 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laval, France

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a footballer who plays as a forward and is the captain of the Gabon national team. He is known for his pace and finishing and is said to be one of the best strikers in the world. He plays for the English club team, Arsenal. He has played for other clubs as well like AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.

 16 
Samuel Umtiti
(Association football player)
Samuel Umtiti
13
Birthdate: November 14, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yaoundé

Samuel Umtiti is a French football player who currently plays for the France national team and Barcelona. Over the years, Umtiti has helped Barcelona win two La Liga titles and three Copa del Rey. He was part of the 2018 team that won the World Cup; Umtiti scored the only goal to help France beat Belgium in the semi-final match. 

 17 
Patrick Vieira
(Association football player, Association football manager)
Patrick Vieira
21
Birthdate: June 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dakar

Patrick Vieira is a football manager and former footballer. Vieira, who was an important member of the France national team, is currently serving as the manager of Crystal Palace Football Club which competes in the Premier League. Widely regarded as one of the best players of his time, Vieira helped his team win its first FIFA World Cup in 1998.

 18 
Riyad Mahrez
(French Football Player Who Plays as a Winger )
Riyad Mahrez
16
Birthdate: February 22, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sarcelles, France

Riyad Mahrez is a professional footballer. He plays for Premier League club Manchester City and the Algerian national team. He began his youth career playing for French club AAS Sarcelles and turned professional in 2009. He represented Algeria at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the 2015–16 season, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year.

 19 
Patrice Evra
(Footballer - Left-back for France)
Patrice Evra
18
Birthdate: May 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dakar, Senegal
 20 
Blaise Matuidi
(Association football player)
Blaise Matuidi
13
Birthdate: April 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toulouse

Blaise Matuidi is a French football player who has represented the France national team in prominent tournaments like FIFA World Cups and UEFA European Football Championships. He also played a major role in helping his team win the 2018 World Cup. Referred to as a strong and fierce tackler, Blaise Matuidi is renowned for his energy and physical strength.

 21 
Arsène Wenger
(Football Manager)
Arsène Wenger
17
Birthdate: October 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Strasbourg
French football manager Arsène Wenger is known for being the longest-tenured and most successful manager of Arsenal, with whom he won the Premier League title thrice. Nicknamed Le Professeur for his serious look, the English Football Hall of Fame inductee is known to encourage young talent in the sport. 
 22 
Gonzalo Higuain
(Football player)
Gonzalo Higuain
12
Birthdate: December 10, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brest, Fracnce

Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, known as El Pipita or Pipa, has had an illustrious career, representing clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus, and Chelsea. Apart from six league titles, he also won the UEFA Europa League. With his 36 goals in a single season in Naples, he equalled a record.

 23 
Michel Platini
(Former French Football Player, Manager and 6th President of UEFA (2007 - 2015))
Michel Platini
10
Birthdate: June 21, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jœuf, France

Michel Platini is a former football player, administrator, and manager. Widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time, this French footballer won the prestigious Ballon d'Or award three times during his glorious playing career. Michel Platini also played a key role as France's national team coach before he was banned from football by the FIFA Ethics Committee.

 24 
Alexandre Lacazette
(French Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Forward)
Alexandre Lacazette
11
Birthdate: May 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lyon, France
French footballer Alexandre Lacazette currently plays as a forward for Arsenal and has previously played for Lyon. He scored the winning goal in France’s win at the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship. He has also won the FA Cup with Arsenal and the Coupe de France with Lyon.
 25 
Didier Deschamps
(Former Footballer Defensive Midfielder)
Didier Deschamps
13
Birthdate: October 15, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bayonne, France

Didier Deschamps is a French former professional football player turned manager. He played as a defensive midfielder for many clubs, such as Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea, and Valencia. He was also a French international. He began his managerial career in 2001 and has been the manager of the France national team since 2012. Former tennis player Nathalie Tauziat is his cousin. 

 26 
Thomas Lemar
(Football player - Midfielder)
Thomas Lemar
8
Birthdate: November 12, 1995
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe, France
 27 
Lilian Thuram
(French Professional Footballer Who Played as a Defender)
Lilian Thuram
14
Birthdate: January 1, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, France

French former footballer Lilian Thuram, who is now a renowned author, with books on racism such as White Thinking to his credit. His 142 appearances for the French national team made him the most capped player of his country, while he was part of the 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning squad.

 28 
Dimitri Payet
(Football player)
Dimitri Payet
12
Birthdate: March 29, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Pierre, Réunion, France
 29 
Marcel Desailly
(French Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Centre-Back)
Marcel Desailly
10
Birthdate: September 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Accra, Ghana

Born in Ghana, Marcel Desailly first gained attention after moving to the Olympique de Marseille and winning the UEFA Champions League. He then gained fame with AC Milan and Chelsea, and was part of the 1998 World Cup-winning French squad. A BBC Sport pundit post-retirement, he also represents UNICEF

 30 
Benjamin Mendy
(Association football player)
Benjamin Mendy
12
Birthdate: July 17, 1994
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longjumeau
 31 
Djibril Cissé
(Association football player)
Djibril Cissé
8
Birthdate: August 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arles, France
 32 
Kalidou Koulibaly
(Footballer Centre-back)
Kalidou Koulibaly
6
Birthdate: June 20, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France

Born to Senegalese parents in France, Kalidou Koulibaly initially played for France U20 and then captained the Senegal national team. He took Senegal to the finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He has often opened up about racism, especially after once being called a “monkey” by a Florentina fan.

 33 
Kurt Zouma
(Association football player)
Kurt Zouma
10
Birthdate: October 27, 1994
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lyon

Kurt Zouma is a French football player who currently plays for the France national team as well as the West Ham United of Premier League. Zouma, who made his professional debut at the age of 16, was named in the ten most promising young players list by The Observer. Kurt Zouma has won prestigious titles, including two Premier League titles.

 34 
Moussa Sissoko
(French Professional Footballer Who Plays as Midfielder)
Moussa Sissoko
6
Birthdate: August 16, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Le Blanc-Mesnil, France

Moussa Sissoko is a French professional footballer. He plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Watford and the France national team. He is known for his ability to play as a box-to-box midfielder in the center of the pitch. He initially played for local clubs and made his professional debut in the 2007–08 season.  

 35 
Kingsley Coman
(Footballer)
Kingsley Coman
24
Birthdate: June 13, 1996
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
 36 
Samir Nasri
(Former Footballer attacking midfielder, winger)
Samir Nasri
11
Birthdate: June 26, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Septèmes-les-Vallons, France

Samir Nasri is a French retired professional footballer. He primarily played in the attacking midfielder position, although he also played in central midfield sometimes. He began playing as a child and made his professional debut in 2004 at the age of 17. He was named the French Player of the Year in 2010. He retired in 2020. 

 37 
Louis Saha
(Football player-Striker)
Louis Saha
8
Birthdate: August 8, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
 38 
Wissam Ben Yedder
(Footballer striker)
Wissam Ben Yedder
7
Birthdate: August 12, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sarcelles, France

Wissam Ben Yedder is a French football player who currently plays for the France national team as well as the Ligue 1 club AS Monaco. While playing for the Toulouse Football Club, Ben Yedder scored 71 goals, surpassing André-Pierre Gignac's record. In the 2019–20 season, Wissam Ben Yedder was the joint top goalscorer with Kylian Mbappé in Ligue 1.  

 39 
Demba Ba
(Association football player)
Demba Ba
14
Birthdate: May 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sèvres

Demba Ba is a former professional footballer who played as a striker in several teams, including Chelsea, West Ham United, and Newcastle United. He started playing football as a child and made his first-team debut with the team Rouen in 2005. He has been associated with many clubs since turning professional. He has also played for the Senegal national team. 

 40 
Emmanuel Petit
(Association football player)
Emmanuel Petit
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dieppe, France
 41 
Alex Song
(Cameroonian Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Central or Defensive Midfielder)
Alex Song
7
Birthdate: September 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Douala, Cameroon

Alex Song is a Cameroonian football player who has played for popular teams like Arsenal and Barcelona. He has also represented his national team in important tournaments like the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. Alex Song’s performance in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations made him the only player from Cameroon to be named in the Team of the Tournament.

 42 
Hatem Ben Arfa
(Association football player)
Hatem Ben Arfa
7
Birthdate: March 7, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Clamart
 43 
Robert Pires
(Football Player & Coach)
Robert Pires
7
Birthdate: October 29, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reims, France
 44 
Édouard Mendy
(Footballer goalkeeper)
Édouard Mendy
3
Birthdate: March 1, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montivilliers, France
 45 
Lucas Digne
(Association football player)
Lucas Digne
5
Birthdate: July 20, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meaux

Lucas Digne is a French professional footballer. He plays as a left-back for Premier League club Everton and the France national team. He was part of the France under-20 team that won the 2013 World Cup. He made his senior international debut in March 2014. He took part in the UEFA Euro 2016 and UEFA Euro 2020. 

 46 
Yannick Bolasie
(Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Winger)
Yannick Bolasie
6
Birthdate: May 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lyon, France

Yannick Bolasie is a professional footballer. He currently  plays as a winger for Turkish Süper Lig club Çaykur Rizespor. In the past, he has played in the Football League for Plymouth Argyle, Barnet, Bristol City, and Crystal Palace, among others. He also plays for the DR Congo national football team. Besides football, he has a keen interest in grime music. 

 47 
Mathieu Valbuena
(French Professional Footballer Who Plays as an Attacking Midfielder and A Winger )
Mathieu Valbuena
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bruges, France

French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, who also plays for the Greek club Olympiacos, is known as le petit vélo, or the little bike, for his short stature. In 2015, he was dragged into a sex scandal, where fellow footballer Karim Benzema had blackmailed him and attempted to extort money over a sex tape.

 48 
Enzo Fernández
(Association football player)
Enzo Fernández
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bordeaux

Enzo Fernández is a French professional footballer. He plays as a midfielder for Ligue 2 club Rodez. He is the eldest son of former footballer Zinedine Zidane and Véronique Fernández. He made his professional debut for Real Madrid Castilla in 2014 and was made one of the team’s vice-captains the following year. His three brothers are also footballers. 

 49 
Lassana Diarra
(Association football player)
Lassana Diarra
12
Birthdate: March 10, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris
 50 
Medhi Benatia
(Football player)
Medhi Benatia
5
Birthdate: April 17, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Courcouronnes, Évry-Courcouronnes, France