Famous French Sportspersons

France may be famous for its exquisite locations, awesome weather conditions, lip-smacking croissants and appetizing red wine but that is not what France is all about. Sports in France are as intrinsic to its culture as is French history. Though soccer is the most played sport in France, French do excel in other sports such as tennis, wrestling, rugby, handball, basketball and the famous French Tour de France cycling. Athletes of France have time and again proved that the country houses some of the best sports person of the world who are amongst the most talented and skilled lot. Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Letizi, Thierry Henry, Raymond Kopa are legendary soccer players who require no formal introduction on the world football forum. They have been French football’s glitzing stars and have been responsible for much of the success of the France national football team. French tennis saw the greats like Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce, Stephanie Cohen Aloro, Marion Bartoli and Pierre Darmon grab the country an enviable position in world tennis scene. Other prominent French sports stars include Andre the Giant - wrestler, Sarah Abitbol – figure skater, Jessica Fox – slalom canoer and Jeannie Longo Ciprelli – cyclist. With this segment, discover some interesting facts about the life of French sports stars.

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

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 1 Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappé
44
Famous As: Football player
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

Paul Pogba
40
Famous As: Football player
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 Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann
25
Famous As: Footballer
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.

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 4 Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema
12
Famous As: Football player
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.

 5 N'Golo Kante

N'Golo Kante
11
Famous As: Association football player
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

Olivier Giroud
11
Famous As: Football player
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.

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 7 Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele
8
Famous As: Association football player
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.  

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 8 André the Giant

André the Giant
34
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: May 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Coulommiers, France
Died: January 27, 1993

André the Giant was one of the most popular French wrestlers ever to appear in WWF. He stood over seven feet tall due to a condition aptly called gigantism, but used his condition to gain popularity. Also an actor, André the Giant continues to be one of the most recognizable faces in the world, several years after his death.

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 9 Franck Ribéry

Franck Ribéry
13
Famous As: Footballer
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.

 10 Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane
23
Famous As: Football Player
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.

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 11 Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry
20
Famous As: Football Coach, Fotball player
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 Raphaël Varane

Raphaël Varane
8
Famous As: Footballer centre-back
Birthdate: April 25, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lille, France
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 13 Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra
10
Famous As: Footballer - Left-back for France
Birthdate: May 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dakar, Senegal

 14 Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona
10
Famous As: Football player, Actor
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.

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 15 Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial
10
Famous As: Football Player
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.

 16 Tony Parker

Tony Parker
5
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: May 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium

Tony Parker is a French-American former basketball player. During his playing career, he helped the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA win four NBA championships. He currently plays a major role in France's professional basketball league 'LNB Pro A' where he owns one of the league's team, ASVEL Basket. Also a philanthropist, Parker serves as the ambassador for Make-A-Wish France.

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 17 Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira
11
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
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 Samuel Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti
8
Famous As: Association football player
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. 

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 19 Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris
8
Famous As: Football player
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.

 20 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
28
Famous As: Football player
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.

 21 Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou
4
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: September 5, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Batié, Cameroon Batié, Cameroon

Francis Ngannou is a Cameroonian MMA fighter who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) heavyweight division. The current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ngannou is renowned for his heavy punches and is the hardest recorded puncher of all time. Ngannou is also known for his philanthropic efforts; the Francis Ngannou Foundation aims at helping young people train in a gym.

 22 Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez
8
Famous As: Association football player
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.

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 23 Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly
4
Famous As: Formula 1 Driver
Birthdate: February 7, 1996
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rouen, France

 24 Gaël Monfils

Gaël Monfils
6
Famous As: Tennis star who reached the number-seven world ranking
Birthdate: September 1, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
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 25 Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva
7
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: September 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Thiago Silva is a Brazilian professional footballer. He plays as a center-back for Premier League club Chelsea and the Brazil national team. He is counted among the best central defenders of his generation. He began playing football as a teenager and had a brilliant youth career. He made his international debut in 2008 and has appeared in seven major tournaments. 

 26 Blaise Matuidi

Blaise Matuidi
10
Famous As: Association football player
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.

 27 Dominique Wilkins

Dominique Wilkins
7
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: January 12, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France

 28 Alain Prost

Alain Prost
9
Famous As: Four-time Formula One Drivers' Champion, from 1987 until 2001
Birthdate: February 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lorette, Loire, France

 29 Alexandre Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette
6
Famous As: Football player
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.

 30 Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi
5
Famous As: F1 Driver
Birthdate: August 3, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: July 17, 2015

Jules Bianchi, grandson of GT World Champion Mauro Bianchi, was a Formula 3 Euro Series winner and a French Formula Renault 2.0 champion. A collision during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix caused him a diffuse axonal injury. He was in a coma for 8 months before dying at age 25.

 31 Lilian Thuram

Lilian Thuram
8
Famous As: Football player
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.

 32 Dimitri Payet

Dimitri Payet
8
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: March 29, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Pierre, Réunion, France

 33 Michel Platini

Michel Platini
5
Famous As: Footballer who played as Midfielder for France
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.

 34 Arsène Wenger

Arsène Wenger
17
Famous As: Football Manager
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. 

 35 Thomas Lemar

Thomas Lemar
5
Famous As: Football player - Midfielder
Birthdate: November 12, 1995
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe, France

 36 Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah
5
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Joakim Noah is a French-American basketball player. A two-time NBA All-Star, Noah has played for popular teams like the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and Memphis Grizzlies. Also known for his humanitarian efforts, Joakim Noah is credited with founding the Noah's Arc Foundation, which aims at helping children through arts and sports.

 37 Marcel Desailly

Marcel Desailly
6
Famous As: Former Footballer centre-back and defensive midfielder
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

 38 Boris Spassky

Boris Spassky
3
Famous As: Chess Grandmaster
Birthdate: January 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Boris Spassky is a Russian chess player who held the World Chess Championship title from 1969 to 1972. He was part of the famous World Chess Championship match in 1972 where he lost his championship title to Bobby Fischer of the United States. In Bobby Fischer's 2014 biopic Pawn Sacrifice, Boris Spassky is portrayed by American actor Isaac Liev Schreiber.

 39 Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri
8
Famous As: Former Footballer attacking midfielder, winger
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. 

 40 Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps
12
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: October 15, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bayonne

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. 

 41 Benjamin Mendy

Benjamin Mendy
6
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: July 17, 1994
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longjumeau

 42 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon, France
Died: October 2, 1968
French-American painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is remembered for his association with movements such as Cubism and Dadaism. A significant figure in conceptual art, he was against art that was meant to just cater to the eyes. He was also a skilled chess player and carved his own chess set.

 43 Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain
11
Famous As: Football player
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.

 44 Demba Ba

Demba Ba
10
Famous As: Association football player
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. 

 45 Moussa Sissoko

Moussa Sissoko
5
Famous As: Association football player
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.  

 46 Djibril Cissé

Djibril Cissé
6
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: August 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arles, France

 47 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
10
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: April 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Le Mans, France

 48 Nabil Fekir

Nabil Fekir
5
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: July 18, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lyon, France

 49 Kurt Zouma

Kurt Zouma
6
Famous As: Association football player
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.

 50 Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly
5
Famous As: Footballer Centre-back
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.