France football goals? Aren’t we supposed to learn French here? …Yes we are! But we are also here to know more about French culture, right?
And let me remind you, who won the football World Cup 2018? FRAAAANCE !!!
Anyway, I wanted to write this article because I love football, I always wanted to be a football player, scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final. Unfortunately, the competition was too tough, I guess… ^^’
Well, that’s not surprising since football is by far the number one sport in France. It’s the dream of a lot of kids to play for the French football team. Ask anyone in France if they know who is Zinédine Zidane, and they will look at you thinking you’re taking them for a fool.
Of course, not everyone likes football, but you can be sure that during the World Cup, almost the whole French population followed the results of Les Bleus (“The Blues”, nickname of the French football team).
So what’s up with this article?
I want to share with you 10 of the best French goals of the 21st century (until 2018 when I write this article). There are some amazing goals before, but I had to fix a limit somewhere. Besides, I tried to look at most French goals as I could, but I might have missed a few. And anyway, this ranking is subjective and based on my personal opinion, so some people may disagree with it, and that’s totally fine.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 10 most beautiful French goals of the 21st century.
Top 10 France football goals
10) Christophe Jallet – France 3-1 Belarus (11/09/2012)
That’s quite a funny one, since Jallet didn’t score on purpose. He was trying to center the ball, but his center-shot involuntarily hit the crossbar before finishing into the back of the net. The Belarusian goalkeeper couldn’t do anything.
For me, the fact that it was not on purpose makes it less impressive than it would be if he intended to score. However, it’s still a wonderful goal, the way the ball floats in the air is just splendid. And it’s always a special goal when the ball hits the crossbar. I don’t know why, but it makes the goal more stylish.
By the way, you might hear the French commentators say “Il a pas fait exprès”, “He didn’t do it on purpose”. But as the saying goes: “la chance fait partie du jeu”, “chance is part of the game”.
9) Zinédine Zidane – France 1-1 Italia (09/07/2006)
9th July 2006, very sad day for France and its football team. Lead by its captain Zinédine Zidane, after having beaten Spain, Brazil and Portugal, France lost against Italy after the penalty shootout in the 2006 World Cup final.
It is one of Zidane’s most (in)famous game after he was sent out with a red card because he gave a head-butt to the Italian defender Marco Materazzi during the game’s overtime. But Zidane also became a legend because of the penalty he took at the beginning of the game, which is for me the greatest penalty ever kicked.
Any football fan knows what a Panenka is: instead of kicking the ball to the left or right of the goalkeeper, you give a subtle touch underneath the ball, causing it to rise and fall within the centre of the goal, deceiving the goalkeeper who is counted on by the taker to have guessed a side and committed a dive away from the centre.
Needless to say, it’s a pretty bold way to take a penalty. But here, Zidane does it with pure class in the World Cup final, against the greatest goalkeeper at the time: Gianluigi Buffon! In French we would say, “faut avoir les couilles”, “you got to have the balls”… And guess what? The ball hit the crossbar before scoring. Magic.
8) Dimitri Payet – France 4-2 Russia (29/03/2016)
After a penalty, here comes a free-kick. Not much to say about this game. It was a friendly game a few months before the Euro 2016 in France.
Dimitri Payet was feared by many goalkeepers in the Premiere League when it came to free-kicks. He scored quite a few magnificent ones in his career with West Ham United. But that time, he scored with France, and the victim was the Russian goalkeeper.
The shot is powerful and accurate, with a magnificent curve that beats the goalkeeper.
7) Thomas Lemar – France 2-3 Colombia (23/03/2018)
The first match of preparation for the 2018 World Cup was a defeat. Les Bleus led 2-0 in this game played on a high pace, but were joined and then dominated by a Colombian team (13th in the FIFA rankings) which took the ascendancy in the second half.
France’s second goal was a breathtaking collective action that started from a counter-attack. One might even wonder if they were not a bit too greedy, especially after Griezmann’s daring pass with the heel. You can even hear the French commentator say it “Ah, ils sont gourmands…”, “Oh, they’re greedy…”. But then, the result is just delicious!
6) Dimitri Payet – France 2-1 Romania (10/06/2016)
Payet, once again, but this time, the context is much crazier. Opening game of the Euro 2016, France was held 1-1 against Romania… until the 89th minute.
Dimitri Payet assures the tri-color victory of a clear shot with his left foot which ends its course in the top-left corner of the Romanian goalpost. The Stade de France explodes with joy.
5) Blaise Matuidi – France 2-1 Serbia (07/09/2015)
Here is a player who is not so used to score goals, but he scored two in that game. And what a goal that 2nd one was! After a badly repulsed corner-kick by the Serbian defense, the PSG midfielder striked the ball with a stunning volley with his left foot just outside the penalty area, which catapulted into the opponent’s top-left corner. I just love the way it seems like the ball would never stop advancing if there weren’t any obstacles.
4) Olivier Giroud – Sweden 2-1 France (09/07/2017)
The first goal of this top 10 that happened outside of France. The French team travelled to Sweden to play for a qualifier match for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. France lost the match despite taking the lead at the 37th minute, with a brilliant goal from Olivier Giroud.
On the right wing, Payet centers for Varane who can only deflect the ball. Olivier Giroud gets the ball with a perfect one-touch control, and on the 2nd touch hits the ball from the outside of his left foot. His balance is perfect, and the ball ends its course in the opposite top-corner.
3) Benjamin Pavard – France 4-3 Argentina (30/06/2018)
I’m pretty sure some billions of people have seen that goal. No wonder, France VS Argentina in the last sixteen of the 2018 World Cup: it was for me the most exciting game of the World Cup.
France takes the lead thanks to a penalty obtained by Mbappé, and transformed by Griezmann. But Argentina comes back in the game right before half-time, and takes over in the beginning of the 2nd half : France 1-2 Argentina.
Everyone is starting to doubt, “If we lose now, we go back to France…” But then, at the 57th minute, a young guy who came out of nowhere, whom nobody ever heard of, rushes on a loose ball outside of the penalty box, and scores his 1st goal with France, and the best goal of the tournament.
Benjamin Pavard puts France level, gives to France the confidence it needed, and you know the story, France qualifies for the quarter finals.
Here again, it’s all about Pavard’s balance when he shoots. The strike is not even that powerful, but the accuracy and the curve makes it impossible for the goalkeeper to touch.
2) Franck Ribéry – France 3-0 Finland (15/10/2013)
Another qualifier match but this time it was for the 2014 World Cup. France concluded these 2014 World Cup qualifiers with a victory, which enabled them to secure their place for the play-offs.
2013 was Ribéry’s year, after winning the Champion’s League and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, I don’t know how he didn’t win the Ballon d’Or that year.
Despite the pressure of the Finnish defenders, Ribéry proved his great shape during that game by opening the score with a stunning 20-meter missile shot from the left side of the box, which ended in the opposite top-corner after hitting the inside of the crossbar.
1) Yoann Gourcuff – Romania 2-2 France (11/10/2008)
Number one ! Here we are, with a player that you probably never heard of if you’re not a football fan. Yoann Gourcuff was a young player with a lot of potential at the time, but he never really broke through in his career. He played quite a few games with France from 2008-2013, which unfortunately for him wasn’t the best era of French football.
However, he did score this amazing 1st goal with France, during a qualifier match for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa against Romania. At 35 meters from the Romanian goalpost, Ribéry shifts the ball to Gourcuff who hits it with a powerful floating shot that touches the bar before entering the into the back of the net.
Sorry if the quality is not the best, I couldn’t find better. But I still remember watching it on live… I was stunned.