Current players like Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann also make this list.
France always seems to have a deep roster of qualities from which to draw for the FIFA World Cup. However, some of its seasoned players, such as Hugo Lloris, Karim Benzema, and Antoine Griezmann, are just unbreakable. Over the years, these players have made a name for themselves and are among the players with the most appearances for France.
In this article, let us take a look at the top 10 players with the most appearances for France:
10. Karim Benzema (97*)
Karim Benzema is one of France’s most capped players despite being dropped from the team that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup due to off-the-field concerns. His return to the national team was met with much excitement. The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, who led Real Madrid to the Champions League title in the 2021/22 season, was ruled out of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar due to a thigh injury.
While he is a big miss for Les Bleus at Qatar, Benzema is still only 34 and will have more opportunities to jump ahead in this list.
9. Didier Deschamps (103)
Didier Deschamps was a standout for France as a defensive midfielder before he became the team’s head coach and led them to the 2018 World Cup title. Deschamps played for the France national team for over a decade, making 103 appearances — many of them as the captain. He went on to captain France’s Golden Generation to the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.
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8. Patrick Vieira (107)
He was part of the French national team that won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship. On his 30th birthday, Patrick scored the first goal as France defeated Togo 2-0 in Group G play at Germany 2006. This victory ensured France’s advancement to the Round of 16.
However, it was then that he scored the decisive goal in a 3-1 victory over Spain. Since Patrick signed with Manchester City in January 2010 for the remainder of the 2010 season. In June of that year, his contract was extended to the end of the 2011 season.
7. Zinedine Zidane (108)
Zinedine Zidane (nicknamed “Zizou”) was a world-class playmaker. Over 100 caps since his debut in 1994 against Czech Republic. He won the 2000 European Championship and the 1998 World Cup with France. He scored two goals in the win over Brazil in the final to lift the World Cup title. In 1998 and 2000, Zidane was European and FIFA World Footballer of the Year.
Zidane captained France in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and scored their third goal in a 3-1 Round of 16 win over Spain four days after his 34th birthday. He announced his retirement after the competition. Since, Zizou’s 33rd-minute penalty earned France the semi-final win over Portugal. He never played after the World Cup Final.
Furthermore, He was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi after giving France a 7th-minute lead. Italy won the final on penalties.
6. Antoine Griezmann (114*)
Antoine Griezmann, who scored the most goals at UEFA Euro 2016, is third on France’s all-time top-scorer list with 42 goals. The Frenchman also scored the second-most goals at the 2018 World Cup, which France won. He was named the Man of the Match in the final. He is considered one of the best French players of all time known for his work ethic on the field.
5. Marcel Desailly (116)
With 116 caps, defensive midfielder Marcel Desailly ranks as one of the best French players ever. He played a critical role in France’s run to the 1998 World Cup, demonstrating his expertise for smart, pinpoint tackles and ball-winning capabilities. He captained the side after the retirement of Didier Deschamp and helped lead Les Bleus to the 2001 Confederations Cup.
4. Olivier Giroud (118*)
One of the most underrated strikers in the game — whom “F1 quality” Benzema once called “go-kart” — Oliver Giroud is France’s highest goalscorer of all-time with 53 strikes. The target man is also the winner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which seemed to have kickstarted a personal trophy haul in which he won the 2019 Europa League, 2021 Champions League, and the 2022 Serie A title.
3. Thierry Henry (123)
During his 13-year international career, Thierry Henry, whom Arsenal fans affectionately referred to as “The King,” gained 123 caps. He also set a team record with 51 goals and won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship. Henry was a headache for opposing defences to deal with on the international and club levels thanks to his speed, dribbling ability, and finishing ability.
He is a World Cup winner (1998), European Champion (2000) and FIFA Confederations Cup champion (2003). Top French Soccer Player of the Year (2000 and 2003). Winner of the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Annual Player of the Year Award (2003).
2. Lilian Thuram (142)
Lilian Thuram has appeared in 142 games for the France national team. The diligent defender was instrumental in France winning the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1998, a year in which he also won the Bronze Ball for his performances. He played in the 2006 World Cup finals, Euro 2004 and 2008 (the latter as captain), and won the 2000 European Championship and the Confederations Cup.
1. Hugo Lloris (143*)
Hugo Lloris, a super-reactive goalkeeper, has so far earned 143 caps for the French national team. He captained France to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Since 2010, Lloris has been captain of Les Bleus. Under his leadership, the squad has advanced to the quarterfinals at Euro 2012 and the World Cup in 2014 and finished runners-up at Euro 2016.
** Article last updated on December 10, 2022.