France's Greatest World Cup Moments

Mon 19 September 2022 | 19:30

France has always made Iconic World Cup moments in every World cup that they have been in. Not necessarily good ones, but the impact they have always had on the World Cup cannot be ignored, thus, let us review the top 10 of France's Greatest World Cup Moments.

There are many different methods to choose memorable World Cup moments. Many stories are remembered for all the right reasons, while others are recognized for the wrong reasons or are filled with misery and sorrow.

It is difficult to forget the adverse events that made headlines in France's World Cup history, such as the strike in South Africa in 2010, the lackluster showings in 2002, and the 1994 team's failure to qualify.

But when we think about

France's Greatest World Cup Moments

, we must also recall the good times: the ones that made French fans happy, those that would make a highlight reel, and the unforgettable ones they still talk about in bars.

Ranked list of France's Greatest World Cup Moments

Now that France has managed to find its way to the Qatar World Cup 2022, fans are eager to see what this amazing team can accomplish in the tournament. Imagine the celebrations that would take place if France wins the tournament. But let us not rush and guess the future, and instead, go to the past and review

France's Greatest World Cup Moments


Zinedine Zidane Against Brazil – 2008

In 2006, Zinedine Zidane's career was nearly ended but he was yet to create one of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments. The Real Madrid midfielder, included in Raymond Domenech's World Cup team as a replacement, was planning to retire after the competition. It was just intended to be a farewell tour.

As usual, Zidane had a different perspective than everyone else.

After having a difficult time in the group stage, Zidane came alive against Spain. The old Zidane was making a comeback, as seen by the way he seemed more rhythmic while pulling and driving the French play. Against Brazil, he attained his pinnacle performance.

The midfielder turned back the clock for 90 minutes of pure football bliss, and Carlos Alberto Parreira's team could do nothing but despairingly observe. Zidane would again make the difference against the South Americans, just as he did against Brazil at the Stade de France eight years prior.

On that hot summer day in Frankfurt, Zidane acted as the conductor as he danced, feinted, and weaved past his rivals.

Before the hour mark, Zidane would permanently change the course of the match. He found Thierry Henry outside the six-yard box with a delightfully threatening free kick, and the striker executed the volleyed finish.

The entire of France will never forget that day in Frankfurt when their best player ever turned back the clock only once to mark one of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments. Zidane wasn't at the same level against Portugal in the semi-final or Italy in the final.

Laurent Blanc and golden goal

The "golden goal," which specifies that the first side to score in extra time wins the game with no hope of a comeback, was introduced at the 1998 World Cup in France.

After 90 minutes of a close and stressful match between France and Paraguay, there was no difference between the two teams. The game would go into extra time, and the golden goal rule would be in effect for the first time at a World Cup competition.

With barely seven minutes left till penalties, both teams were playing extremely cautiously. Since they may get caught out at the back and their tournament would be finished, neither team wanted to commit too many players forward.

Several times, France attempted to kick the ball into the Paraguay area. Still, it was always cleared to the appropriate safety. Laurent Blanc scored the goal after Robert Pires grabbed possession and dinked a beautiful pass towards the penalty spot. David Trezeguet's cushioned header was the assist to this beautiful goal considered as one of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments.

Blanc had scored the first-ever World Cup golden goal, and France was through, resulting in joyous and relieved celebrations and creation of one of the

Iconic World Cup moments


The winning penalty in 1986

One of the finest French teams ever, and the event is a penalty shootout victory over Brazil in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal. After extra time, the score remained tied at 1, and penalty kicks would decide the winner.

Legendary Brazilian Socrates would miss the initial penalty, but Joel Bats would make the appropriate move to seize the midfielder's opportunity. Following six successful penalties, France would gain an early edge. Unexpectedly, Michel Platini would miss his fourth penalty as well as France's, keeping the score tied at three and giving Brazil a chance to go ahead.

The penalty kick by Julio Cesar was hammered to the Bats' right, but it smacked against the post, tying the game at 3-3 and giving France one more chance to win.

After setting the ball down, Jean Fernandez took a breath and moved it low to his left. While Fernandez spun off in joy, Carlos moved to his left. The fact that France had defeated one of the tournament favorites was a tremendous occasion for the squad and the player.

Marius Tresor's volley

This incredible game contains so many standout moments that it might have its own top 20 list. After 90 minutes of play, the 1982 semi-final game was at 1-1, and West Germany and France pressed forward in the extra period.

With one of the finest extra-time goals you're ever likely to witness, the French team took the lead 2-1 early in the extra session. Alain Giresse was positioned over the free kick after Michel Platini was fouled on the right flank.

Marius Tresor was unblocked at the penalty spot when Giresse clipped the free-kick. He rose into the air with grace and impeccable skill and expertly volleyed the ball beyond Harald Schumacher.

The 32-year-old Girondins de Bordeaux midfielder produced a volley and finish that Platini himself would have been proud of, and one deserving of a spot high up in our countdown, despite scoring only two goals for his team in the season coming up to the World Cup.

The hero against Croatia

On July 8, 1998, tensions were high at the Stade de France. The second period of France's semi-final match versus Croatia has just begun. The supporters had hoped that the amazing Croat run would have ended by the time they went into the interval at 0-0. Croatia wasn't supposed to advance; this was France's World Cup; it was fate.

After the restart, Davor Suker gave Croatia a 1-0 lead.

Lillian Thuram won't allow it. The quiet, polite right-back would not let his team lose without a fight, and now was his chance to win national acclaim and to create one of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments.

Thuram scored two outstanding goals that night, sending France to the World Cup final even though he had never scored for France before the match against Croatia and would never score again. Without Thuram, there would be no Petit goal, Zidane headers, and no trophy for Deschamps.

Though it wasn't in the final, this moment isn't as well known, but it's still difficult to forget Lillian Thuram's heroic efforts to ensure that his nation had a chance of winning the World Cup for the first time.

Alain Giresse's amazing goal against the West Germans

The French audience will always remember numerous specific events from this game. The game will be remembered primarily for Harald Schumacher's despicable challenge on Patrick Battiston, which rendered the Frenchman immobile on the ground.

It may not have been a nice moment, but it will be remembered. Some believe Schumacher should have been sent off because he didn't even get a yellow card. In the 5-4 shootout triumph, the German goalie would stop two of France's penalties.

France made the greatest play in this illustrious game in the 98th minute after they had led 2-1 after regulation. France, encouraged by the unfairness of the Schumacher tragedy, continued to press forward.

Four German defenders stood in front of Platini as he held onto the ball after receiving it on the edge of the area. He came into the area and sent the ball to Didier Six on the left while concentrating on marking Platini.

Alain Giresse was ghosting toward the penalty area when the defenders failed to notice him. Six poked the ball in his direction, and the young midfielder slammed it past Schumacher.

Everyone is familiar with Italy's well-known Tardelli celebration, and Giresse and the France players also engaged in similar celebrations.

In extra time, France had a 3-1 lead and appeared to advance to the World Cup Final. Sadly, the joy was short-lived as West Germany rallied to draw the game and ultimately win on penalties.

There is no sweeter moment for France in the 1982 World Cup, regardless of the outcome than when Giresse swished his shot past Schumacher.

Zidane scoring two in the World Cup Final

The World Cup final is taking place in your country's stadium. With a stadium full of supporters from your nation, you are all lined up with your teammates and enthusiastically singing the national song. Your fantasy will come true if you score the game-winning goal and lead your nation to World Cup victory.

Zinedine Zidane made that dream a reality in 1998. The former Juventus midfielder scored not one but two spectacular headers as France established a 2-0 halftime lead over Brazil in the World Cup final in front of a jam-packed, anticipatory, enthusiastic crowd at the Stade de France.

The entire tournament, France had threatened to be eliminated. Still, in their match against Brazil, they drew strength from their talismanic playmaker's goals and proved too much for their South American rivals.

Just before the break, a right-handed corner was sent in, and Zidane outjumped Leonardo to slam the perfect header over Taffarel's near post.

The second was the fatal blow if the first had taken Brazil's wind out of its sails. Zidane buried a strong header low and past the defenseless Taffarel in first-half injury time after Youri Djorkaeff's right-footed corner caused Brazilian captain Dunga to trip.

Zidane made his dream come true by scoring twice as your nation won the World Cup on home soil.

2018 World Cup Final

We are now in the top 3 zone of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments list so stay with us as we look at the best France moments in World cup.

In the first half 2018 World Cup Final, France may have been more fortunate than talented, but in the second, they proved why they deserved to win the World Cup. Particularly Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe raised their levels of play in the second half with a couple of spectacular goals.

Amazingly, France attempted no shots in the opening period. They led 2-1 going into halftime thanks to an own goal and a penalty that was awarded following a thorough VAR review. Null shots. Croatia scored a spectacular goal, but they were probably confused with being down 2-1 at the break.

Although Croatia also left the locker room with greater vigor, the game's momentum oddly changed when the World Cup's top player was replaced. After receiving an early caution, N'Golo Kante was never the same. France's energy increased once Steven Nzonzi replaced him, and they began to appear threatening.

Five minutes later, Pogba completed a lengthy counterattack that he initiated by scoring the third goal. Soon after, Mbappe scored in the

2018 World Cup Final

, becoming the second teenager (behind Pele) to score in a World Cup.

Croatia had optimism after a Hugo Lloris error, but they could not generate another significant opportunity, and France hung on to win their second World Cup and adding another moment to France's Greatest World Cup Moments.

Zinedine Zidane's Panenka Against Italy

Before we get to the final moment which is ranked the best moment of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments list, we have to review one of the best moments of Zinedine Zidane.

In football, certain plays perfectly capture a player. We were reminded of Zinedine Zidane's true talent in the World Cup final in 2006. The adage "there is a narrow line between genius and lunacy" is true, and "Zizou" often toyed with that line, maybe never more so than when France was given a penalty in the 2006 World Cup final.

Zidane went up to take the subsequent spot-kick after Marco Materazzi was found to have fouled Florent Malouda just seven minutes into the game.

This was to be his final professional match and should not be taken for granted. It would eventually be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Zidane had the opportunity to join the exclusive group of players who scored in consecutive finals after scoring twice in 1998. Still, to do so, he would have to defeat former Juventus teammate Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal. Zidane would pull off a brilliant move in a match of wits.

He wouldn't turn left or right or wait for Buffon to decide; here was a player whose football understanding was superior to that of everyone else on the field.

With all the cunning and daring in the world, Zidane casually approached the ball, chipped it down the center, and the ball grazed the underside of the bar before crossing the line. This was certainly one of the Iconic World Cup moments.

1998 World Cup Final

And we have finally reached the top of the France's Greatest World Cup Moments list.

When you think about the World Cup, pictures like Maradona hoisting the trophy in Mexico, Geoff Hurst, England in 1966, and Brazil and Pele in 1970 come to mind. These are just a few examples.

The photos that will be broadcast and viewed across the world for the next several days, and then for years to come, are of the winning captain receiving the FIFA World Cup trophy, as well as the few seconds before the captain lifts the trophy above his head.

Didier Deschamps was the 1998 player who would go on forever in football history. Raising the World Cup trophy alongside his teammates and friends for the entire country of France as he ascended the Stade de France steps and received it.

Every time the World Cup comes to mind, classic pictures, such as Maradona hoisting the cup in Mexico, Geoff Hurst and England in 1966, and Brazil and Pele in 1970, to mention just three.

Images of the winning captain receiving the FIFA World Cup trophy and the brief moments before the captain lifting the trophy above his head will be played and viewed throughout the globe over the next days and for years to come.

Didier Deschamps would go down in football history as one of the greatest players in 1998. taking the World Cup trophy up the Stade de France steps with his teammates and friends to raise it in honor of the whole French people.

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