What ever happened to the players who finally won France’s first World Cup? Despite having players such as Fontaine, Platini, Tigana, Tresor, Papin and Cantona over the years, France were never quite able to deliver the World title that they craved. On home soil in 1998, backed by a wave of national support, France destroyed Brazil in the final and sparked mass celebrations on the streets of Paris.
The Event : World Cup Final
The Date : July 12th 1998
The Location : Stade de France, Paris
The Teams :
France – Barthez, Thuram, Desailly, Lebouef, Lizarazu, Deschamps, Petit, Karembeu, Zidane, Djorkaeff, Guivarc’h Subs – Vieira, Boghossian, Dugarry
Brazil – Taffarel, Cafu, Aldair, Baiano, Roberto Carlos, Sampaio, Dunga, Leonardo, Rivaldo, Bebeto, Ronaldo Subs – Denilson, Edmundo
The Score : France 3-0 Brazil
The Scorers : Zidane (2), Petit
Fabian Barthez – The charismatic French goalkeeper became a firm crowd favourite during the tournament. After winning the French title with Monaco in 2000 he joined Man Utd in a high profile deal. However, after a good start at Old Trafford his form dipped and was replaced by Tim Howard in 2003. Barthez returned to France where he stayed until his retirement in 2007. He was also a member of the Euro 2000 winning team and the French team which finished as runners up in 2006.
Lilian Thuram – Regarded as one of the best defenders in the world in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Thuram joined Juventus in 2001 from Parma and was a permanent fixture in Juve’s defence until their enforced relegation in 2006. He joined Barcelona in 2006, where he remained until his retirement in 2008. He is France’s most capped ever player with 142 caps.
Marcel Desailly – A powerful centre back ( previously centre midfielder ), Desailly was a key player in Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan team of the mid-90’s. Desailly joined Chelsea in 1998 and became an important part of Gianluca Vialli’s ambitious team. Although Desailly was sent off in the ’98 final, he also a member of the French Euro 2000 winning team. Desailly retired in 2006 after a spell in the Middle East and is now a pundit on the BBC
Frank Lebouef – Lebouef only played in the final due to the suspension of Laurent Blanc. Lebouef made his name at Chelsea where he spent 5 years in the late 1990’s. Lebouef is also famous for an appearance on BBC show “They Think It’s All Over” in which he answered questions with “ I don’t care, I won the World Cup”. Lebouef retired in 2005 after 2 seasons in the Middle East.
Bixente Lizarazu – Widely regarded as one of the best left backs of all time, Lizarazu was a key member of the France ’98 side. He enjoyed his best days at Bayern Munich where he won the Champions League in 2001. He was also a member of the Euro 2000 winning side. Lizarazu retired in 2006 and is now a European jiu-jitso champion. Honestly!
Didier Deschamps – France’s captain on the night in the absence of Blanc. Deschamps was once negatively referred to as a “water carrier” by Eric Cantona. However Deschamps played an important role in both the World Cup winning side, and the Euro 2000 winning side. Deschamps spent the peak of his career at Juventus before moving to Chelsea in 1999. He retired in 2001 after a season with Valencia. He is now managing Marseille after previously being in charge of Juventus and Monaco
Manu Petit – Scorer of the third goal in the Final. Petit formed a formidable partnership with Partick Vieira in Arsenal’s midfield of the late 1990’s. He joined Barcelona in 2000 in a deal which also saw Overmars joining Barca. However, he move was not a success, and Petit returned to England with Chelsea in 2001. He retired in 2004 after a succession of knee injuries
Christian Karembeu – As well as winning the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000, Karembeu also won 2 Champions League titles with Real Madrid in 1998 and 2000. After 3 seasons with Madrid, Karembue joined Middlesborough. He retired in 2005 after spells in Greece, Switzerland and his native France. He is currently a scout for Arsenal
Zinedine Zidane – The star man of the final with 2 goals, and one of the greatest footballers of all time. He was also the star player in Euro 2000, putting in a string of incredible performances. In 2001 he joined Real Madrid from Juventus for a then world record fee. He won the Champions League in 2002 scoring in the final. During the 2006 World Cup he was the driving force behind France’s run to the final. In the final itself he scored, and was later sent off after clashing with Marco Materazzi. He retired from football after the 2006 World Cup.
Youri Djorkaeff – A highly skillful player, Djorkaeff was a permanent member of the French side during the late 1990’s. After 3 years with Inter Milan, he moved to Kaiserslautern in 1999. From there he moved to Bolton where he spent 2 successful seasons alongside JayJay Okocha. Djorkaeff retired in 2006 after spending a season in America with the NY Red Bulls.
Stephane Guivarc’h – Guivarc’h was selected for the 1998 World Cup squad on the strength of 2 fantastic seasons in the French Leauge. He failed to score during the World Cup, but secured a move to Newcastle after the tournament. He failed to impress for Newcastle and was quickly offloaded to Rangers. He retired in 2002 after returning to France
Patrick Vieira – The highly influential midfielder was only 22 during the 1998 World Cup. He went on to become one of the most feared midfielders in Europe after almost 10 succesful years at Arsenal. In 2005 he was sold to Juventus but moved to Inter Milan after Juve’s forced relegation in 2006. He is still playing for Inter Milan as of 2009
Alain Boghossian – A midfielder who spent the best years of his career in Italy, Boghossian made a substitute appearance in the ’98 final. In total he won 26 caps for his country and retired in 2003 after a season in Spain with Espanyol
Christophe Dugarry – A highly skillful attacking player, Dugarry was as talented as he was tempermental. After the ’98 World Cup, Dugarry joined Marseille. He was also a member of the Euro 2000 winning side. In 2000, Dugarry joined Bordeaux, and suprisingly joined Birmingham on loan in 2003. He quickly became a fans favourite, scoring important goals in their fight for survival. Dugarry retired in 2005 after a season in the Middle East.