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France’s FIFA World Cup Pedigree

Victories in the knockout stages against Poland, England, and Morocco have seen them reach a second consecutive FIFA World Cup final. But how did they fare in previous finals? 

It’s no secret that the French national team has been a powerhouse in international football, having won the FIFA World Cup twice in their long and illustrious history, including the most recent tournament in Russia four years ago. Despite that, however, they were still unfancied at Qatar 2022, primarily thanks to a dismal run in the UEFA Nations League, where they lost home and away to Denmark and avoided relegation by just one point. Despite their doubters, oddschecker, which provides World Cup odds and offers, still made Didier Deschamps’ side one of the favorites for glory in the desert. 

And they have been proven right. Victories in the knockout stages against Poland, England, and Morocco have seen them reach a second consecutive FIFA World Cup final. But how did they fare in previous finals? 

Maiden victory in 1998 

Les Bleus first tasted glory in their maiden appearance in the tournament’s final in 1998, when they lifted the trophy for the first time thanks to a 3-0 victory over Brazil in the final. Prior to the final, France had put together an impressive run to the showpiece game, beating the likes of Paraguay, Italy, and the tournament’s surprise package, Croatia, in the knockout rounds.

The highlight of that memorable campaign was undoubtedly Zinedine Zidane’s two-headed goals in the final, with the iconic midfielder later receiving the Adidas Golden Ball for his efforts. Other key players in the successful side were Thierry Henry, current manager and captain at the time Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, and Laurent Blanc, who all played a pivotal role in France’s victory.

Second taste of success 

Fast forward 20 years and France were back in the final of the 2018 World Cup. This time, however, Les Bleus had a much more difficult path to the showpiece game as they had to face a number of top teams, including Argentina (4-3), Uruguay (2-0), and Belgium (1-0) in the knockout rounds.

Once again, the French showed their class to eventually win the tournament, this time by beating Croatia 4-2 in an entertaining final in Moscow. This time around, the star of the show was 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappé.

The team was led by their star player, Kylian Mbappé, who scored four goals in the tournament and was named the best young player at Russia 2018. Other players such as Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba also put in very impressive performances throughout the competition.

The tournament was full of excitement, with the most memorable match being the incredible 4-3 victory over Argentina in the Round of 16. Antoine Griezmann’s early penalty gave Les Bleus an early lead. But Angel Di Maria’s 30-yard blockbuster leveled things up before Gabriel Mercado gave the Argentinians a shock lead. Benjamin Pavard would once again equalize shortly after. Then, it was the Kylian Mbappé show. The 19-year-old wunderkind scored two brilliant goals in four minutes to give his side a two-goal lead. Sergio Aguero would pull one back late on, but it wasn’t to be, and the French advanced to the quarter-finals. 

Image via Unsplash

The French team’s victory was met with great joy and celebration from the French people. After the team’s victory in the final, Paris and other cities around the country erupted with fireworks and raucous cheering. The team was also welcomed home with a huge parade in Paris, as thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on the team and celebrate their victory.

Repeating the feat

The French people had more to cheer on this winter as their nation advanced to the final in Qatar. Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappé has once again been the star of the show. He racked up five goals in the group stages alone, with his teammates Griezmann and Giroud taking over in the knockout stages. 

The victory over England – a match in which Three Lions captain Harry Kane thumped a penalty high into the Qatari night sky – has been the highlight so far. Many expected the English to get the victory, and they were the better team throughout. But as all good champions do, France found a way to win. 

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