The most beautiful matches in the history of the Blues in the World Cup

The defeat of the France team in the World Cup final against Argentina (3-3 ap, 2-4 on pens) adds to the series of mythical meetings of the Blues in the World Cup. A look back at the most beautiful matches in their history in the competition.

1958: an offensive festival against the FRG for a first podiumOutclassed by Brazil in the semi-finals of the Swedish World Cup in 1958 (2-5), the France team opposes the FRG, reigning world champions in the small final. A sign of football from another time, the Blues won 6 goals to 3, with achievements from Yvon Douis, Raymond Kopa, and a quadruple from Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals during this World Cup. Despite German goals from Hans Cieslarczyck, Helmut Rahn and Hans Schäfer, the French remained above and went for their first podium, giving new impetus to French football.

1982: trauma against the FRGThe noise, the fury then the silence. The sound of Battiston’s shock, hit by Schumacher, that of the colors for the attention of the German goalkeeper and the echo of Amoros’ strike on the bar. Then the fury and silence, finally, of a devastated locker room on the Sevillian night of July 8, 1982 (3-3, 4-5 on pens).

read also: France-RFA 82, a real scandal?

“The only things we heard were the crying. We were in such a state…” declared defender Marius Trésor, 34 years after the trauma. On penalty, Michel Platini (27th) responds to the opener of Pierre Littbarski (17th). A gross foul from the German goalkeeper, and a French crossbar later, the two teams try to decide in extra time.

Hitting twice thanks to Trésor (93rd) and Alain Giresse (100th), the Blues seem to have done the hardest part. But Rummenigge, after a counter (104th), then Fischer, with an acrobatic income (108th), snatch a penalty shootout, the first in the history of the World Cup. At 3-2 in favor of the Blues, Stielike failed against Ettori but Six in turn missed his shot on goal. At 4-4, Bossis hits on the right of Schumacher who pushes the ball away. Hrubesch then eliminates France

1986: the magic square defeats BrazilFour years after the famous “Night of Seville”, Michel Platini and his band challenge Brazil, in Guadalajara, in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup. Favorites, the Brazilians quickly open the score through Careca (17th ). Dominated, the Blues activated the head thanks to the equalizer of Michel Platini (40th). After mowing down Branco, goalkeeper Joël Bats pushes back Zico’s penalty (75th).

The score no longer evolves until the penalty shootout. Platini certainly misses his attempt, hitting above the frame, but Socrates and Julio Cesar also miss their shots. Luis Fernandez, he does not tremble. The Blues take their revenge on the Brazilians, 28 years after the heavy defeat of 1958. Since then, the Tricolors have won all their oppositions against the Auriverde in the World Cup.

1998: on top of the world for the first timeFor the last World Cup of the 20th century, the France team challenged defending champion Brazil at home, won by their star striker Ronaldo. Galvanized by an epic career, including a golden goal against Paraguay in the round of 16 (1-0 ap), a victory on penalties against Italy in the quarters (0-0 ap, 4-3 on pens), and a success with forceps against the Croats (2-1), the Blues are riding their wave of success by scoring twice from set pieces.

So far author of a half-hearted World Cup, Zinédine Zidane opens the score with a header at the near post, on a corner from Emmanuel Petit (27th). Just before returning to the locker room, he does it again in the same way, this time served by Youri Djorkaeff (45th + 1). In additional time, despite the exclusion of Marcel Desailly earlier in the game (67th), the French weigh down the mark after a counter concluded by Emmanuel Petit (90 + 3).

read also: France-Brazil 98, really a lesson?

2006: veterans overthrow the young Spanish guardThe Spanish press is clear: “We are going to retire Zidane”title “Marca”, the morning of the round of 16 against Spain, during the 2006 World Cup. Number 10 announces that the World Cup is his last competition. In Germany, in Hanover and in front of 43,000 spectators, France overthrew an arrogant Spain, but already full of talent. With an eleven composed of Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Raul, or even David Villa, the Iberians opened the scoring from the penalty spot thanks to the latter (28th), after a fault by Lilian Thuram.

For his first competition in the blue jersey, a Franck Ribéry full of panties equalizes after having erased Iker Casillas (41st). In the last part of the meeting, Patrick Vieira gives France the advantage with a header (83rd), before Zidane comes to close the debate, after having erased Carles Puyol then deceived Casillas (90th).

2006: Zidane and his family release the Brazilian armadaJuly 1, 2006 marks the end of an entire generation. Barthez, Thuram, Vieira and Zidane face Ronaldo, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho. At the end of the 90 minutes, the second are forced to return home, consolidating the status of a pet peeve of the French against their Brazilian counterparts. The reigning champions at the time could not cope with the technical ease of Zinédine Zidane.

The Madrid player delivered a decisive pass for Thierry Henry on a free kick, on the only but of the match (1-0). Orientation of the game, controls of the chest, the knee, serenity, the midfielder continues on the delivery of his performance against Spain in the eighth (3-1). This quote from commentator Thierry Gilardi is enough to sum up the match: “Brazil are playing white tonight. »

read also: Zinédine Zidane: “One of my best matches in Blue. And I play injured”

2014: the offensive festival against SwitzerlandIn 2014, the World Cup in Brazil is an opportunity for the French to reconcile with their public, four years after a catastrophic exercise that turned into a fiasco. Well launched in the competition after a success against Honduras (3-0), the Blues continue their good ename by dominating the Swiss 5-2, during the second match. Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi put their team on the right track (17th, 18th), before Mathieu Valbuena worsened the mark in the 40th minute, well served by Karim Benzema.

The latter also scored a splendid but, taking advantage of a delicious exterior from Paul Pogba (67th). Six minutes later, it was Moussa Sissoko’s turn to increase the score (73rd). Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka save the honor at the end of the match (81st, 87th), without consequences for Didier Deschamps and his men. The score could even have been more severe, but Benzema’s volley is not assumed, the referee having whistled the end of the game during the action.

2018: Mbappé and Pavard disgust the AlbicelesteIf we had to remember a match from the coronation of the Blues in 2018, it would surely be this one. “Second post Pavard! » In reference to Benjamin Pavard’s half-volley, which allowed the Blues to remember two but everywhere against Argentina. In a prolific match (4-3), the France team eliminated Lionel Messi and his family in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup. Di Maria and Mercado allowed the Argentines to lead 2-1, but the strike from the French side release a whole group.

Only led 9 minutes, the Blues then unfold. After Pavard, it’s Kylian Mbappé’s turn (19 in 2018) to score a brace in four minutes (64th, 68th) and knock out the South Americans. Just like the opposition which put them face to face four years later, this match between the two teams left room for the irrational. Sergio Aguero certainly causes a final thrill in the French ranks (90th + 3), but it’s too late, the Blues go straight into the quarter-finals, with the feeling that nothing can happen to them.

read also: At the far post, Benjamin Pavard wrote history

2018: twenty years later, they’re doing it againThe contrast with the previous finale is striking. Where Germany had taken over Argentina at the end of a closed match (1-0 ap) in 2014, the final of the 2018 World Cup draws a completely different scenario. Shaken in the first period against Croatia, the French gave a lesson in realism to their opponents by winning 4-2. Mario Mandzukic, unhappy, deviates in his but a free kick from Antoine Griezmann (18th).

After the equalizer from Ivan Perisic (28th), Griezmann restores the advantage to his team from the penalty spot due to a hand from the same Perisic. Paul Pogba (59th) and Kylian Mbappé (65th) make the bill. Hugo Lloris, imperial throughout the competition, is however guilty of a lack of concentration. Once his raise misses, he can only allow Mandzukic to make the defeat of the checkered country less severe. Twenty years after their elders, the French repeat the feat, like a Mbappé scorer in the final at 19, the youngest after Pelé.

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