This is France’s 15th time at the World Cup tournaments, with their first appearance being in 1930, at the inaugural World Cup where Le Blues was one of the four major European teams to participate. They have won the FIFA World Cup title once, in 1998. France was the host country and they defeated Brazil 3-0 on home soil during the final match.
The French team placed 6th in 1938, 4th in 1982, 3rd in 1958 and 1986 and 2nd in 2006. In this year’s World Cup, France booked their place in the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by beating Belgium, thanks to a fantastic goal from Samuel Umtiti. The New York Times reports that the country 1998 victory was “hailed as a victory for a multicultural vision of France because of the diverse makeup of the team”.
“Tonight’s victory was a rebuke, in an athletic sense anyway, of the anti-immigration stand by Jean-Marie Le Pen and the right-wing National Front party that has gained popularity in recent years,” NYT had reported at the time.
This year, too, the diverse makeup of the team harks back to that fateful day in 1998. If France were to win this year, it would again be considered a victory for diversity and multi-culturalism.