France was the first national team to win 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. The Confederations Cup started in 1992. Prior to this, Uruguay and Italy had won both the Olympic tournament and the World Cup in the 1920s and 1930s. England and Germany had also won both tournaments; albeit England competes as Great Britain in the Olympics and East Germany won the Olympic tournament in 1976. Since 2001, Argentina (after the 2004 Olympics) and Brazil (after the 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).
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Basic Information of France National Team
Nickname(s): Les Bleus (The Blues)
Association: Fédération Française de Football (FFF)
Confederation: UEFA (Europe)
Head coach: Didier Deschamps
Captain: Hugo Lloris
Most caps: Lilian Thuram (142)
Top scorer: Thierry Henry (51)
Home stadium: Stade de France
Main trophies: World Cup: 2 | UEFA European Championship: 2
Player records: Most games played: Lilian Thuram (142) | Top goalscorer: Thierry Henry (51)
History of France National Football Team
In 1904, shortly before the founding of FIFA in the same year, the French national team was officially established. The following year, they played their first home game at the Parc des Princes, beating Switzerland in front of nearly 500 fans.
Some people may not know that in the early days of the French national football team's history, the identity of the French national team has been controversial. Mostly it is the result of a disagreement between FIFA and the USFSA, the main French sports federation. These differences culminated in the run-up to the 1908 Olympics, which led to FIFA and the US Soccer Association sending two separate French teams to the competition. However, the results were also less than satisfactory. Both teams were eliminated by Denmark, France A (FIFA control) lost 1-17, and France B0-9 lost. Such a situation will definitely not be allowed, nor will it be accepted by the public. The USFSA was eventually dissolved, becoming a semi-affiliated agency of the CFI in 1913. Six years later, the CFI transformed into the French Football Federation we have today.
In 1930, France participated in the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay and became the first team to score a goal in the World Cup, then beat Mexico 4-1. France, however, withdrew from the group stage. Sadly, France also didn't succeed in the 1934 World Cup, as Les Bleus was beaten by Austria in the first round.
The 1950s were the first "golden generation" in France. Led by creative Raymond Copa and prolific striker Just Fontaine, they quickly transformed into a team worthy of the respect of their opponents. The team made it through qualifying for the 1958 World Cup. They continued their good form in the tournament, where they advanced from the group stage but managed to beat West Germany in third place. Fontaine finished with 13 goals, a record that remains unchanged to this day.
By the early 1960s, most of the golden generation had retired, which led to a sharp decline in form and result. Over the next ten years, France did not do well in football. This continued until the appointment of Michel Hidalgo in 1976 and the arrival of a new generation of talents led by midfield maestro Michel Platini.
Host of the 1998 World Cup, Les Bleus was one of the biggest favorites to win the tournament. And this time, the French football team achieved their goal. With Zidane's two goals and Petit's last goal, France clinched their first World Cup title.