Before the France-Argentina game, flash back to the Blues’ six finals at the World Cup or Euros

1998 World Cup: “We can die in peace”

After two consecutive rankings, France cannot miss the 1998 World Cup. The French topped their group with three wins in three matches, then eliminated Paraguay in the round of 16 (1-0) and Italy in the quarterfinals on penalties (0-0). In the semi-finals, Davor Shuker, a strong attacker of the Madrid club, will face Croatia. Lilian Thuram considers it a good time to score the only two goals of his international career and send the Blues to the final. Laurent Blanc, who was sent off after an argument with Slaven Bilic, will not participate.

Frank Leboeuf will take his place in the final against Brazil on July 12 at the Stade de France. Both teams had quick chances, but it was France who opened the scoring. Almost half an hour later, Zinedine Zidane headed the ball into the net from Emmanuel Petit’s corner kick. At prime time, “ZZ” doubles the bet. The number ten wins again in the air from a corner kick by Youri Djorkaeff and beats Claudio Taffarelli.

In the second half, the Brazilians pushed, taking advantage of Marcel Desailly’s sending off to create chances. In vain. In extra time, a counterattack led by Christophe Dugarry and Patrick Vieira is finished off by Manu Petit. France’s victory is brilliant and finally the first star has won. TF1 commentator Thierry Roland’s reaction will go down in history:
Two goals from Zidane, one goal from Petit, I think you can die easily after seeing this. Well, as late as possible, but we can. Oh, that’s great. No foot, no foot!

Euro 2000: the story of the substitutes

Two years after the crowning ceremony, 18 of the 22 world champions are still there to compete in the European Championship. The coach changed: Aimé Jacquet was replaced by Roger Lemerre. Qualifying in pain, the Blues nevertheless advance with their status as favorites carried by exceptional attacking firepower (Henry, Trezeguet, Anelka, Zidane, Wiltord, Pirès…). They finished second in Group D behind the Netherlands. Qualified from Spain in the quarter (2-1), Raul missed a penalty in extra time.

As in 1984, France faces Portugal in the semi-finals. Zidane, who dazzled throughout the match, scored a golden goal from the penalty spot in the 117th minute to qualify France (2:1).

In the final, it is the unbeaten Italy in front of the blues. After a tense first half, Italy took the lead in the 55th minute. Turin’s Gianluca Pessotto’s center, found by Totti with a backheel, eludes Blanc and Desailly. But not to Marco Delvecchio, the striker of “Roma”, who opened the score.

Minutes pass and the win takes shape Squadra Azzura. In the 94th minute, the last of the match, the Italian bench stood up, ready to celebrate the title. Sylvain Wiltord, who came on during the game, decided otherwise: Bartez headed a long-range free-kick towards another substitute, David Trezeguet, who was advancing. A defender directs the ball to the Bordeaux winger who scores from a tight angle.

Italy follows the flight of the coronation and the two teams go to extra time. the to show the substitutions continue in the 103rd minute: Robert Pirès, who came on at the end of the second half, crosses from the left and passes perfectly to Trezeguet, there is no need to ask to score the golden goal that is alone and synonymous with the second. Consecutive title for the Blues.

2006 World Cup: losing on a whim

After two missed competitions (World Cup 2002 and Euro 2004), illustrious former players Zidane, Vieira, Makelélé, Thuram and Barthez gave themselves a new chance to make Les Bleus history. The latter skate in pools and take second place in their group after Switzerland. However, under Zidane’s performance, they managed to defeat Spain in the eighth (3:1), and then Brazil (1:0) in the quarter. A new meeting with Portugal in the semi-finals also became the advantage of the French thanks to Zizou’s penalty (1:0).

This World Cup, the last of the legendary number 10, will once again conclude against Italy, marked by the appearance of a certain Franck Ribery. Panenka and ZZ give the advantage to the French team from the 7th minute of the game, penalty scored by Florent Malouda, tackled by Marco Materazzi. But the Italian defender equalized minutes later with Andrea Pirlo’s corner kick.

The second period becomes the advantage of the blues, but they cannot make their dominance concrete. The French are dangerous again in extra time, they cannot succeed. Ribery’s shot scrapes the left post of Gianluigi Buffon (98′), who saves a powerful header from Zidane (103′). A few minutes later, the captain of the blues sends another whimper to Materazsi’s chest., who verbally provoked him. The shock is big for the French supporters: Zizou’s great career ends with the dismissal, which was his last match. Coup de graces are awarded during the penalty shootout. David Trezeguet’s ball hit the crossbar. The Italians won their fourth star.

Euro 2016: close to the post

Resurgent after years of being a lean cow, France is playing this Euro 2016 at home. The “Blues” are the first in their group, then beat Ireland (2:1) in the 1/8 finals, and Iceland (5:2) in the quarterfinals. The qualification for the final was achieved thanks to the double of the German world champion Antoine Griezmann.

The French start as favorites against the Portuguese, who have only one win in regular time (three draws, then in the 1/8 finals and 1/4 finals with Croatia and Poland). A game-winning start for the Blues and a status bolstered by Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury from the 25th minute. The tempo is slowly dropping but the Blues are in control of the match without finding an error. In the added time of the second half, Evra crosses on the left wing. The Juve side serves André-Pierre Gignac, who comes on late in the match on the surface. The Tigres forward breaks free from Pepe’s mark and fires a hard shot past Rui Patricio’s left post..

A disaster scenario for the Blues, who were physically weakened in extra time, until Lille’s centre-forward Eder curled a long shot into the back of the net. France won’t come back: Portugal won their first international title.

2018 World Cup: At the Deschamps Pole

The French team comes to Russia with a largely reorganized workforce: only nine of those who participated in the Euros are away. The announced goal is to reach the last four of this World Cup, it will be achieved. The Blues finished first in their group, then defeated Argentina in the round of eight and Uruguay in the quarterfinals. In the semi-finals, Belgium made the game but lost to the more pragmatic French, who scored the only goal of the match by Samuel Umtiti.

Go up against a worn-out Croatia team in the final. The Slavs had to go to extra time in each knockout game to reach the final. Again, they dictated the game, but they were the first to surrender: in the 18th minute of the game, Mario Mandzukic scored his team’s first ever goal in the World Cup final with Griezmann’s free-kick. “Inter” winger Ivan Perisic equalized ten minutes later. Antoine Griezmann converted and France led at the break.

The match definitely swings in the Blues’ favor around the hour mark.. Paul Pogba, service by Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe deceives Danijel Subašić in two stages (59th) before heading home the point. 19-year-old winger Lucas Hernández (65) became the second youngest player to score in a World Cup final after Pele with an assist. A mistake by Hugo Lloris on Umtiti’s back pass would have allowed Croatia to reduce the lead by Mandzukic, but the crowd called.

Under the pouring rain, the French lifted the World Cup for the second time in their history. Didier Deschamps becomes the third person to win the major title as a player and coach, after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.

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