French expatriate footballers

Posted Oct 26, 2009
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  1. Zinédine Zidane

    Zinédine Zidane


    Zinedine Yazid Zidane (born 23 June 1972), nicknamed "Zizou", is a retired French footballer and current coach of Real Madrid Castilla. He played as an attacking midfielder for the France national team, Juventus and Real Madrid. Renowned for his elegance, vision, ball control and technique, Zidane was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, and has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

  2. Gonzalo Higuaín

    Gonzalo Higuaín


    Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín (born 10 December 1987) is a French-born Argentine professional footballer who plays for Italian club Napoli and the Argentina national team as a striker.

  3. Samir Nasri

    Samir Nasri


    Samir Nasri (born 26 June 1987) is a French professional footballer who plays for English club Manchester City. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger, although he has also been deployed in central midfield.

  4. Djibril Cissé

    Djibril Cissé


    Djibril Cissé (born 12 August 1981) is a French footballer who plays as a striker for JS Saint-Pierroise. He is well known for his speed and acceleration. Since 2005, he has been Lord of the Manor of Frodsham. Cissé started his career at AC Arles in 1989 at the age of eight. After seven years at the club, he had a six-month spell at Nîmes Olympique before moving to Auxerre joining the club's youth system. Cissé spent two years in the system before graduating to the first team in 1998. Having had a move to Liverpool delayed once, he moved to the Merseyside-based club in 2004, after playing for Auxerre for six seasons, scoring 90 goals in 166 appearances.

  5. Olivier Giroud

    Olivier Giroud


    Olivier Giroud (born 30 September 1986) is a French footballer who plays for English club Arsenal and the France national team. He plays as a striker and is known for his size, physical style of play, heading ability, shot power, strength and link-up play. He is also associated with making runs to the front post that outwit defenders.

  6. Fabien Barthez

    Fabien Barthez


    Fabien Alain Barthez (born 28 June 1971) is a French former footballer who won honours as a goalkeeper with Marseille, Manchester United and the French national team, with whom he won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 and reached the final of the 2006 World Cup. He shares the record for the most World Cup finals clean sheets with Peter Shilton, with 10. In club football he won the Champions League as well as several Ligue 1 and Premier League titles.

  7. Karim Benzema

    Karim Benzema


    Karim Mostafa Benzema (born 19 December 1987) is a French professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the France national team as a striker. He has been described as an "immensely talented striker" who is "strong and powerful" and "a potent finisher from inside the box".

  8. Christian Karembeu

    Christian Karembeu


    Christian Karembeu (born 3 December 1970 in Lifou, New Caledonia) is a retired French international footballer and the current Strategic Advisor of Olympiacos F.C.. He is also part of a Paris-based consortium to expand the A-League with a Pacific Island team.

  9. Armand Traoré

    Armand Traoré


    Armand Traoré (born 8 October 1989) is a professional footballer who plays for Queens Park Rangers as a left back. Traoré is a product of the Arsenal Academy. He has represented France at under-19 and under-21 levels, but has since opted to represent his parents' native country, Senegal, at the senior level.

  10. Éric Abidal

    Éric Abidal


    Éric Sylvain Abidal (born 11 September 1979) is a French retired professional footballer who played as a left back or a central defender.

  11. Claude Makélélé

    Claude Makélélé


    Claude Makélélé Sinda (born 18 February 1973) is a retired French footballer and current manager.

  12. David Ginola

    David Ginola


    David Désiré Marc Ginola (born 25 January 1967) is a French former international football player who has also worked as an actor and model.

  13. Robert Pires

    Robert Pires


    Robert Emmanuel Pirès (born 29 October 1973) is a French footballer who is currently a free agent.

  14. Yoann Gourcuff

    Yoann Gourcuff


    Yoann Gourcuff (or Breton: ɡuʁ.kỹw; born 11 July 1986) is a French international footballer who currently plays for Rennes. He operates mainly as an attacking midfielder, but can also be utilized as a withdrawn striker and is described as a "playmaker of real quality" who "is an accomplished passer of the ball". Gourcuff has been described by former French international David Ginola as the best French player of his generation. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to French legend Zinedine Zidane.

  15. Eric Cantona

    Eric Cantona


    Éric Daniel Pierre Cantona (born 24 May 1966) is a French actor and former international footballer for the French national team. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before ending his career at Manchester United where he won four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles.

  16. David Trézéguet

    David Trézéguet


    David Sergio Trezeguet (born 15 October 1977) is a French-Argentine retired footballer who played as a striker.

  17. Emmanuel Petit

    Emmanuel Petit


    Emmanuel Laurent "Manu" Petit (born 22 September 1970) is a French retired footballer, who played club football for Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea. He represented France at international level, and scored the third goal in France's 3–0 victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final.

  18. Patrick Vieira

    Patrick Vieira


    Patrick Vieira (born 23 June 1976) is a French former footballer, who last played for Manchester City F.C.; he currently works for the club as a youth coach. He rose to prominence during a hugely successful spell at Arsenal from 1996 to 2005, where he eventually became club captain, and won three Premier League titles – one unbeaten – and four FA Cups. He transferred from Arsenal in 2005 and spent one season at Juventus, helping the team to the Serie A championship. Following Juventus' relegation for their part in a match-fixing scandal, Vieira moved to Internazionale and won three Serie A titles, before moving to Manchester City for two seasons, where he retired in 2011.

  19. Laurent Koscielny

    Laurent Koscielny


    Laurent Koscielny (born 10 September 1985) is a French footballer who plays as a defender for Arsenal and the French national team. He primarily plays as a centre back but he can also play as a right back, a position where he started his career. He has been described as an aggressive, strong, quick and ball-playing defender.

  20. Nicolas Anelka

    Nicolas Anelka


    Nicolas Sébastien Anelka (born 14 March 1979) is a French footballer who is player-manager of Mumbai City FC. Prior to his retirement from international football, Anelka was also a regular member of France national team. Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has described him as a quick player with good aerial ability, technique, shooting, and movement off the ball.

  21. Patrice Evra

    Patrice Evra


    Patrice Latyr Evra (born 15 May 1981) is a French international footballer who plays for Italian club Juventus. Originally an attacker, he primarily plays as a left-back. Evra, whom Sir Alex Ferguson praised for his leadership, also describing him as one of the best left-backs in Europe, has served as captain for both Manchester United and France.

  22. Jeremie Aliadiere

    Jeremie Aliadiere


    Jérémie Aliadière (born 30 March 1983) is a French footballer who plays as a striker for Qatari side Umm Salal.

  23. Frank Leboeuf

    Frank Leboeuf


    Franck Alain James Lebœuf (typically anglicised as Frank Leboeuf, born 22 January 1968) is an actor, sports commentator and former French international footballer who played primarily as a central defender. With the French national team, Leboeuf won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 European Championships as well as a number of domestic trophies, most famously during his 5 years at Chelsea. Since the conclusion of his playing career, Leboeuf has transitioned to acting, appearing in stage and film productions.

  24. William Gallas

    William Gallas


    William Éric Gallas (born 17 August 1977) is a retired French footballer who played most of his footballing career in France and England before finishing his career in Australia with A-League club Perth Glory. Gallas began his career in France, before being signed by English club Chelsea in 2001. He transferred to rivals Arsenal as part of an exchange deal in 2006. He then signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 2010.

  25. Jose Cobos

    Jose Cobos


    José Javier Cobos Castillo (born 23 April 1968 in Strasbourg), known as Cobos, is a retired French footballer who played as a left defender.

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