22.5. online TV Toulon Tournament
Obala Bjelokosti - Francuska U21 live stream
22.5. online TV Toulon Tournament
Obala Bjelokosti - Francuska U21 live stream
The France national football team was created in 1904 around the same time of FIFA's foundation on 21 May 1904 and contested its first official international match on 1 May 1904 against Belgium, in Brussels, which ended in a 3–3 draw. The following year, on 12 February 1905, France contested their first ever home match against Switzerland. The match was played at the Parc des Princes in front of 500 supporters. France won the match 1–0 with the only goal coming from Gaston Cyprès. Prior to the FIFA World Cup, the country's major international competition was the Summer Olympics. At the 1908 Summer Olympics, France sent two teams to the competition, a rare occurrence, due to a disagreement between FIFA and the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA), the country's sports union. At the competition, both teams struggled with France B (USFSA) losing in the opening round and France A (FIFA) losing in the following round. Following the Olympics, on 9 May 1908, the French Interfederal Committee (CFI), a rival organization to the USFSA, ruled that FIFA would now be responsible for the club's appearances in forthcoming Olympics Games and not the USFSA. The USFSA disagreed, but due to disorganization in later years, became semi-affiliated with the CFI in 1913. In 1919, the CFI transformed themselves into the French Football Federation. In 1921, the USFSA finally merged with the French Football Federation.
In July 1930, France appeared in the inaugural FIFA World Cup, held in Uruguay. In their first-ever World Cup match, France defeated Mexico 4–1 at the Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo. Lucien Laurent became notable in the match as he scored not only France's first World Cup goal, but the first goal in World Cup history. France later lost 1–0 to fellow group stage opponents Argentina and Chile resulting in the team bowing out in the group stage. The following year saw the first selection of a black player to the national team. Raoul Diagne, who was of Senegalese descent, earned his first cap on 15 February in a 2–1 defeat to Czechoslovakia. Diagne later played with the team at the 1938 FIFA World Cup, alongside Larbi Benbarek, who was the first player of North African origin to play for the national team. At the 1934 FIFA World Cup, France suffered elimination in the opening round. The group stage used in the first World Cup was discarded in favor of a straight knockout tournament. In the opening round match, against Austria, France lost 3–2 following extra time goals from Anton Schall and Josef Bican. On the team's return to Paris, they were greeted as heroes by a crowd of over 4,000 supporters. Two years later, on 24 February 1936, Gaston Barreau was officially installed as the team's first manager. Barreau, who headed a player selection committee which officially headed the team, had unofficially managed the team since 1919.
France hosted the 1938 FIFA World Cup and reached the quarter-finals before losing 3–1 to the defending champions Italy, who later went on to defend their title. Due to the development of World War II, national team play was put on hold, returned, then was put on hold for a second time before finally returning on a permanent basis following the conclusion of the war. The first suspension of play lasted from 29 January 1940 until 8 March 1942 when France returned to play losing 2–0 to Switzerland. France contested one more match before play was suspended again on 16 March 1942. After over two and a half years of dormancy, France returned to play on Christmas Eve 1944 defeating Belgium 3–1 in Paris.
The 1950s saw France handed its first Golden Generation composed of players such as Just Fontaine, Raymond Kopa, Jean Vincent, Robert Jonquet, Maryan Wisnieski, Thadée Cisowski, and Armand Penverne. At the 1958 FIFA World Cup, France reached the semi-finals losing to Brazil, who won the match 5–2, courtesy of a hat trick from Pelé. In the third place match, France defeated West Germany 6–2 with Fontaine recording four goals, which brought his goal tally in the competition to 13, a World Cup record. The record still stands today. France hosted the inaugural UEFA European Football Championship in 1960 and, for the second straight international tournament, reached the semi-finals. In the round, France faced Yugoslavia and were shocked 5–4 despite being up 4–2 heading into the 75th minute. In the third place match, France were defeated 2–0 by the Czechoslovakians.
The 1960s and 70s saw France decline significantly playing under several different managers and failing to qualify for numerous international tournaments. Under Henri Guérin, France failed to qualify for the 1962 FIFA World Cup and the 1964 European Nations' Cup. The team did return to major international play following qualification for the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The team lost in the group stage portion of the tournament. Guérin was fired following the World Cup. He was replaced by José Arribas and Jean Snella, who worked as caretaker managers in dual roles. The two only lasted four matches and were replaced by former international Just Fontaine, who only lasted two. Louis Dugauguez succeeded Fontaine and, following his early struggles in qualification for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, was fired. Dugauguez was replaced by Georges Boulogne, who couldn't get the team to the World Cup. Boulogne was later fired following failure to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Boulogne also failed to get the team to UEFA Euro 1972. He was replaced by the Romanian Stefan Kovacs, who became the first and, to this day, only international manager to ever manage the national team. Kovács also turned out to be a disappointment failing to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1976. After two years in charge, he was sacked and replaced with Michel Hidalgo.
Under Hidalgo, France flourished, mainly due to the accolades of playmaker Michel Platini, who, alongside Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse, and Luis Fernández formed the "carré magique" ("Magic Square"), which would haunt opposing defenses beginning at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, where France reached the semi-finals setting up a showdown with their rivals, West Germany. The semi-final match-up is considered one of the greatest matches in World Cup history and was marred with controversy. France eventually lost the match on penalties 5–4.
France earned their first major international honor two years later, winning UEFA Euro 1984, which they hosted. Under the leadership of Platini, who scored a tournament-high nine goals, France defeated Spain 2–0 with Platini and Bruno Bellone scoring the goals. Following the Euro triumph, Hidalgo departed the team and was replaced by former international Henri Michel. France later completed the hat trick when they won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics football tournament and, a year later, defeated Uruguay 2–0 to win the Artemio Franchi Trophy, an early precursor to the FIFA Confederations Cup. In a span of a year, France were holders of three of the four major international trophies. At the 1986 FIFA World Cup, France were favorites to win the competition, and, for the second consecutive World Cup, reached the semi-finals where they faced West Germany. Again, however, they lost. A 4–2 victory over Belgium gave France third place. A year later, Platini retired from both club and international football.
In 1988, the French Football Federation opened the Clairefontaine National Football Institute. Its opening ceremony was attended by then-President of France, François Mitterrand. Five months after Clairefontaine's opening, manager Henri Michel was fired and was replaced by Michel Platini, who failed to get the team to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Platini did lead the team to UEFA Euro 1992 and, despite going on an impressive 19-match unbeaten streak prior to the competition, suffered elimination in the group stage. A week after the completion of the tournament, Platini stepped down as manager and was replaced by his assistant Gérard Houllier. Under Houllier, France and its supporters experienced a heartbreaking meltdown after having qualification to the 1994 FIFA World Cup all but secured with two matches to go, which were against last place Israel and Bulgaria. In the match against Israel, France were upset 3–2 and, in the Bulgaria match, suffered an astronomical 2–1 defeat following a monumental and costly mistake by midfielder David Ginola in the last minute of play. The public outcry, following the defeat, led to the firing of Houllier. His assistant Aimé Jacquet was given his post.
Under Jacquet, the national team experienced its triumphant years. The squad composed of Didier Deschamps, Laurent Blanc, Emmanuel Petit, Marcel Desailly, and Bixente Lizarazu that failed to reach the 1994 FIFA World Cup were joined by influential youngsters Lilian Thuram, Zinédine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Claude Makélélé, and David Trezeguet. The team started off well reaching the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 1996 where they lost 6–5 on penalties to the Czech Republic. After the competition, coach Jacquet adopted a very defensive strategy, which was often derided by supporters. The press also began to attack the team manager, calling his methods "Paleolithic," and claiming that the team had no hope in winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup, which would be hosted in their home country. However, despite the constant criticism, Jacquet and his strategy led the team to World Cup glory defeating Brazil 3–0 in the final at the Stade de France. Jacquet stepped down after the country's World Cup triumph and was succeeded by assistant Roger Lemerre who guided them through UEFA Euro 2000. Led by FIFA World Player of the Year Zidane, France defeated Italy 2–1 in the final. Trezeguet scored the golden goal in extra time after Sylvain Wiltord drew the match in the fifth minute of injury time. The victory gave the team the distinction of being the first national team to hold both the World Cup and Euro titles since West Germany did so in 1974, and it was also the first time that a reigning World Cup winner went on to capture the Euro. Following the result, France were inserted to the prestigious number one spot in the FIFA World Rankings.
France failed to maintain that pace in subsequent tournaments. Although, the team won the Confederations Cup in 2001, France suffered a stunning goalless first round elimination at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. One of the greatest shocks in World Cup history saw France condemned to a 1–0 defeat to debutantes Senegal in the opening game of the tournament. After France finished bottom of the group, Lemerre was dismissed and was replaced by Jacques Santini. A full strength team started out strongly in UEFA Euro 2004, but they were upset in the quarter-finals by the eventual winners Greece. Santini resigned as coach and Raymond Domenech was picked as his replacement.
France struggled in the early qualifiers for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. This prompted Domenech to persuade members Makélélé, Thuram, and Zidane out of international retirement to help the national team qualify, which they accomplished following a convincing 4–0 win over Cyprus on the final day of qualifying. The team was greeted with modest expectations as it entered the tournament and began slowly drawing with both Switzerland and the Korea Republic in their first two matches. Following a respectable 2–0 win over Togo, France found their form and advanced all the way to the final defeating the likes of Spain, Brazil, and Portugal along the way. At home, when news came of France's victory over Portugal in the semi-finals, there were mass celebrations at the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. France took on Italy in the final and despite controversial disruptions in extra time, France failed to get on the score-sheet and Italy eventually won the penalty shoot-out 5–3 to be crowned champions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
France started its qualifying round for UEFA Euro 2008 strong and qualified for the tournament, despite two shocking defeats to Scotland. Despite high expectations from supporters, France bowed out during the group stage portion of the tournament after having been placed in the group of death. France's performance at Euro 2008 effectively marked the end of its golden era with Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry remaining with the team following the uneventful Euro performance. Despite pressure from supporters and world media, alike, to fire Domenech, the federation retained him as manager.
Just like the team's previous World Cup qualifying campaign, the 2010 campaign got off to a disappointing start with the France suffering disastrous losses and earning uninspired victories. France eventually finished second in the group and earned a spot in the UEFA play-offs against the Republic of Ireland for a place in South Africa. In the first leg, France defeated the Irish 1–0 and in the second leg procured a 1–1 draw, via controversial circumstances, to qualify for the World Cup.