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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Romain Grosjean is a racing driver who spent nine Formula One seasons with several teams. In 2011, he won the GP2 Series as well as the GP2 Asia Series, becoming the first two-time GP2 Asia champion. He currently competes in the US-based IndyCar Series.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Born in Iran, chess Grandmaster Alireza Firouzja initially represented his country but later began representing France. In 2021, he became the only teenager ranked among the world’s top 15 chess players. A 2-time Iranian champion, he has been a chess prodigy and had started training in chess at age 8.
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.
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.
Bernard Hinault is a French former professional cyclist, often counted among the best cyclists of all time. He has 147 professional victories, including five in the Tour de France, to his name. In 1986, he was given the Legion of Honour; he retired the same year. He turned to farming after his retirement.