France

France soccer Poll
France National Football Team

National Team Information

General Info

Les Bleus (The Blues)

World Cup Participation

1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022

Championships

1984 UEFA Euro, 1998 World Cup, 2000 UEFA Euro, 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2018 World Cup, 2020-21 UEFA Nations League

France National Football Team History

France national football team appeared at the first World Cup in 1930 and won their first match against Mexico 4-1 in Montevideo. Lucien Laurent scored the first goal in FIFA World Cup history, but France lost their next two matches and got eliminated in the group stage. Four years later, in a single-elimination format, France lost 3-2 to Austria in their only match.

The France national football team was integrated early on as Black and North African players made their debuts during the 1930s. France hosted the World Cup for the first time in 1938 and made the quarterfinals, where they were eliminated by Italy.

After failing to qualify for the 1950 World Cup, France’s first Golden Generation emerged. Legendary players like Just Fontaine, Jean Vincent, and Raymond Kopa were mainstays during this period. In 1958, Fontaine set a record with 13 goals in a single World Cup, which stands to this day. France finished third, losing to Brazil in the semifinals and defeating West Germany 6-3 in the third place game with Fontaine scoring four goals.

The next France national football team FIFA World Cup appearance was in 1966, but they were eliminated early as they failed to win a Group Stage match. The 70s were a rough period for France, since they failed to qualify for both the 1970 and 1974 World Cup. Les Bleus returned in the 1978 World Cup but were again eliminated in the group stage, with a win and two losses.

France performed much better at the 1982 World Cup, since they made the semifinals, where they lost on penalties to West Germany. Manuel Amoros won the Best Young Player award at the tournament, and Alan Giresse led the team with three goals.

In 1984, France national football team won their first major tournament as they defeated Spain 2-0 in the European Championship final. Michel Platini scored a tournament-leading nine goals and captained France to victory. Les Bleus also won the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal and the 1985 Artemio Franchi trophy, which was the precursor to the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Les Bleus were favorites coming into the 1986 World Cup but they once again lost to West Germany in the semifinals. They did, however, manage their best finish since 1938, as they defeated Belgium 4-2 in the third place game.

France then failed to qualify for the next two editions of the World Cup but returned with a vengeance in 1998, under Aime Jacquet. A team with exciting young players like Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane won all three group stage matches and advanced to their first-ever final. There, Zidane scored two goals as Les Bleus routed Brazil in the final for their first World Cup win. Fabian Barthez was recognized as the Best Goalkeeper in the tournament.

Despite winning Euro 2000 and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, France suffered a shock group stage exit in the 2002 World Cup. One of the biggest upsets of the tournament was Senegal’s 1-0 victory over Les Bleus in the opener.

In Zidane’s last World Cup, France fared much better and finished the group stage undefeated. With wins over Spain, Brazil and Portugal, France made their second World Cup final in team history. Zidane scored an early penalty against Italy but was sent off in extra time for an infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi. Italy went on to win 5-3 on penalties; David Trezeguet missed his PK for France.

The 2010 World Cup, for which France only qualified on an unseen Thierry Henry handball goal, was a disaster. Les Bleus drew their opener 0-0 with Uruguay and then disappointingly lost to Mexico, 2-0. At halftime, striker Nicolas Anelka had a heated dispute with coach Raymond Domenech and was expelled from the tournament.

In protest, left-back Patrice Evra led a training boycott, and France lost 2-1 to hosts South Africa in their last match. France finished at the bottom of their group and were eliminated in the Group Stage for the second time in the last three World Cup appearances.

In Didier Deschamps’s first tournament as head coach, France made the quarterfinals and were eliminated by eventual champions Germany. Paul Pogba was named Best Young Player at the tournament. At Euro 2016, hosts France got their first win over Germany in a major tournament since 1958 and advanced to the final. They, however, lost in extra time as Portugal’s Eder scored the game’s only goal.

France got their second World Cup win in 2018 with Kylian Mbappe emerging as one of soccer’s brightest young talents. Les Bleus advanced as group winners with a 2-1 win over Australia, a 1-0 win versus Peru and a 0-0 draw against Denmark.

Mbappe scored two second-half goals against Leo Messi and Argentina in the 4-3 round of 16 win. Les Bleus then beat Uruguay 2-0 in the quarterfinals and Belgium 1-0 in the semifinals. Mbappe became the only teenager other than Pele to score in a World Cup final, since France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final. Mbappe was awarded Best Young Player, while Antoine Griezmann got the Silver Boot and Bronze Ball.

France Flag
French Soccer

France Soccer Leagues & Clubs:

Ligue 1 is France’s soccer league with the biggest following, and it’s the top league in the country. There are 20 clubs in Ligue 1, which is being reduced to 18 ahead of the 2023-24 season.

This means four teams will be relegated in 2022-23 instead of two. The league follows a double round-robin format, and the top two teams qualify for the Champions League group stage. The third-place team enters the Champions League playoff rounds.

France soccer betting isn’t limited to Ligue 1 and the national team. Ligue 2 is the second-tier league in France and features 20 clubs, which will be reduced to 18 in 2023-24. The top two teams are automatically promoted to Ligue 1 each year. Meanwhile, the third-place club can typically gain entry to Ligue 1 by winning a promotion playoff.

Ligue 2 Teams – 2022/23 Season
Team
Amiens
Annecy
Bastia
FC Girondins De Bordeaux
Caen
Dijon
Grenoble
Guingamp
Laval
Le Havre
FC Metz
Nîmes
Niort
Paris FC
Pau
Quevilly-Rouen
Rodez
AS Saint-Etienne
Sochaux
Valenciennes

France Cups & Tournaments

French Soccer Betting Information

Betting on Ligue 1

Ligue 1 betting is among the most popular in the world and France soccer betting is primarily on it. PSG have dominated the league over the past decade, with eight of the last ten titles, as of 2022. Monaco and Lille have also won Ligue 1 in recent years. Ligue 1 is an attractive league to watch as a casual fan, and it’s good to bet on for the same reasons.

Clean sheets occurred in 51 percent of matches in 2021-22, but no team had a 40 percent clean sheet percentage or above. Plus, both teams scored in 55 percent of matches in the same season. Home teams certainly had an advantage, as the home winning percentage was 43 percent. Road teams were able to take all three points in 30 percent of matches, and 27 percent of matches in 2021-22 ended in draws. 

Totals betting was quite difficult in the 2021-22 season. Both over and under 2½ goals occurred in 50 percent of matches. The most frequent scoreline was 1-1, which happened in 13.7 percent of matches. Some of the strongest teams in Ligue 1 in recent seasons have been PSG, Marseille, Lyon, Monaco, Lille, Nice, and Rennes.

France National Team Betting Tips & Odds

The France National team is one of the best teams in the world. They are the defending World Cup champions entering Qatar 2022. Players like Kylian Mbappe, N’Golo Kante, and Karim Benzema are among the best in the world. However, France have underperformed in the last couple of years leading up to the World Cup. 

In the recent UEFA Nations League, an injury-riddled France side won just one of their six matches. Les Bleus were also eliminated in the round of 16 at Euro 2020 by Switzerland in penalties. Regardless, they are a very talented team with up-and-coming players like William Saliba and Aurelien Tchouameni. France are priced at -250 odds to win Group D over Denmark, Tunisia and Australia. 

Betting tips note that the last three World Cup winners failed to advance out of the group stage, though. Punters can find France to be eliminated before the round of 16 at +700 odds. Les Bleus have shorter odds to win the whole tournament than get eliminated in the group stage, though.

A France repeat is listed at +600 odds, which only trails Brazil.

Following the World Cup, France will turn their attention to UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers. They’re in a group with the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Greece, and Gibraltar. It would be seen as a major failure if France don’t finish in the top two and qualify.

Summary

France’s Ligue 1 is one of the most exciting leagues in the world. Despite PSG’s status as the top dog, it is usually quite a competitive race to make the Champions League. France is known for rivalry matches which can often get quite contentious. Yellow, and even red cards, are common in these games, which could present an alternative betting opportunity. The Coupe de France is also an interesting competition to bet on, as it can sometimes be quite a crapshoot. The 2022 winner was Nantes, who finished ninth in Ligue 1.

Almost all soccer fans have heard of players like Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, and Kylian Mbappe. France’s national team is iconic and one of the most popular teams to bet on. The two-time World Cup champions play with a swagger and flair that is rarely matched in the international game. France’s huge successes have also been accompanied by major failures. Chemistry has been an issue in recent years, and off-the-field issues should be taken into account when betting on their tournament performance.

French Soccer FAQS

Is sports betting legal in France?

Sports betting is legal in France and it’s possible to bet both online and in person.

Is in-play betting allowed in France?

Yes, online betting only became legal in 2010, but it’s possible to live-bet in France.

Who is the French Ligue 1’s top all-time scorer?

Argentine striker Delio Onnis is Ligue 1’s all-time leading scorer with 299 goals.

Which French team has won the most championships?

As of the start of the 2022-23 season, all of Saint-Etienne, Marseille, and PSG have been French champions ten times.

What is football called in France?

France uses the term football, just like England.
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