Why France produces the most World Cup players

This is Portugal playing Morocco at the 2018
World Cup. Portugal was the heavy favorite and won the
game 1-0. The result wasn’t all that interesting,
but this photo is. This Portugal player wasn’t born in Portugal
and these two Morocco players weren’t born in Morocco. See, soccer’s regulating body, FIFA, allows
athletes to play for any nation they have a clear connection to, including the country a player’s parents
or grandparents are from. In this year’s World Cup, 82 players are
playing for countries that they weren’t born in. So… where are they coming from? If we plot it on a map,
one country stands out. France is where the largest number
of all World Cup players were born. Brazil has the next highest total but it’s
not even close. France has had the most native players and
coaches in the last 4 World Cups and their dominance has been on the rise. So, what’s so special about France? At the end of World War II, much of France was destroyed. The government began recruiting laborers,
from southern and eastern Europe as well as colonies in northern Africa, to rebuild the country during
the late 1940s and 1950s. During that time France brought in more immigrants than any other European country. And in the 1960s and early 70s France’s economy
grew rapidly and a labor shortage led to another wave of immigrants – with even more arrivals
from French colonies throughout Africa and the Caribbean. Many of them settled in major housing developments
just outside of the major cities. At the same time, France was also in a sports
crisis. Especially the national football team. Between 1960 and 1974, France failed to qualify
for three world cups and three European championships. The French Football Federation decided the
way to get better was to create a national structure for developing talent, so it established
one of Europe’s first football academy systems. In 1972, a national training center was opened
in Vichy, and four years later, the Federation worked with top French football clubs to set
up a wider network of academies to recruit and train local youth. In 1988, the national training center moved
to a forested suburb south of Paris called Clairefontaine and by the early 1990s, this French soccer
system was one of the best in the world – developing talented players from all over France. And the system delivered results. In 1998, the
French national team, called Les Bleues, won the World Cup. A moment that was celebrated throughout the
country. And it seemed to be a breakthrough for French
multiculturalism as well, since several players were either immigrants
themselves or children of immigrants who came to France
in the 20th century. The team was called the “Black, Blanc, Beur”,
meaning “black, white, arab” – a spin on the three colors of the French flag But not everyone supported diversity, particularly
nationalist politicians like Jean-Marie Le Pen. Despite racist criticism, players from immigrant
families have continued to make up more and more of France’s best talent. Many come from one place in particular. 38% of immigrants to France settle in Greater Paris. Most end up in these areas called banlieues. The French word literally means “suburb”;
but it can also imply immigrant-dominated ghettos. Over the years, these areas have frequently
seen riots. They have high levels of unemployment, crime,
and poverty and are in a crisis. Yet the banlieues continue to produce some
of the most talented soccer players. That’s because this is where France’s
immigration history meets its soccer system, and it’s the reason why the city is the
world’s number one talent pool for soccer. Since 2002, the number of Parisian-born players
at the World Cup has continued to rise. Out of all French players at the 2018 World
Cup (50), 16 were born or raised in Greater Paris. The French national team has eight from banlieues, all children of immigrants. That includes Kylian Mbappe, France’s 19 year-old
super star who was born to an Algerian mother and Cameroonian
father in the Parisian suburb of Bondy and was trained through the French system at Clairefontaine. But Parisian players don’t just play for
France. Over the years, FIFA’s eligibility rules
have allowed them to play for countries like the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Algeria, Portugal,
Cameroon, and Togo. 4 players on this year’s Senegal team are
from the Greater Paris area as well as this player on Tunisia. And remember this photo? Both of these players were born in Paris. That’s what’s special about French soccer
– the combination of an established academy system and its unique immigration history
is producing incredible talent – for France and the rest of the world.

100 thoughts on “Why France produces the most World Cup players

  1. This video has been updated and corrections can be found in the description. Sorry about the errors and thanks to all the commenters who helped us improve the video! – Mac & Sam

  2. In India talent doesn't matters in lower level, the things matters is money and connection players have. It doesn't mean India don't have good football player but it has to improve its ground level

  3. Many say it is because of colonialism, but I don't see England produce so much world class players

  4. If French Team is the African team why no african team has never win the world cup and France win it twice. Why? Is it champagne ? No. Is it fromage ? No. Is it frogs ? No. Is it wine ? No it is just because they never wants to see an african team win the world cup and no it is not because of managing or training système looooool it is just football and you only need football wears and water and a ball. And algeria has experienced it in World cup 1980 check out

  5. 1:34 shows the Second French colonial empire, which only lasted from 1852 to 1870. But the video talks about the 1960s and 70s. ?‍♂️

  6. I would say the French system is kind of like the US women's system, creating all kinds of talented players. The US women's I believe mostly US born citizens. I think race has little to do with it, mostly it's a system that creates results.

  7. Im not from France but how is that racist criticism? He is just saying that France don’t sing along the national anthem.

  8. Kylian Mbappe is algerian
    Karim benzema is algerian
    Samir nasri is algerian
    Zinedine zidane is algerian
    Nabil fekir is algerian
    Dj snake is algerian
    Algeria made legends

  9. lol when you use two zidane goals as an example for the spread of french players but he was born in algeria…

  10. Suprisingly enough France National team is filled with foreigners children whom just happened to be born in France

  11. Lol idk if Banlieu is the world's number one football talent pool. Brazilians would have something to say about that.

  12. Fière d'etre francaise ! Certes mes parents viennent d'Afrique noire mais c'est la France avant tout ! ???????FRANCE BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE

  13. Yeah BUT!!!!! France won the world cup, but 90% of the team had African parents. Only 2-3 french players had parents and grandparents born in France. The rest are born to African refugee parents. There's a joke going around those who watch world soccer, France may have technically won the WC, but it was really AFRICA that won in reality. This grandparent FIFA rule needs to change.

  14. As a Chinese football fan,It's ridiculous for the government being keen on naturalizing too many foreign players in the Chinese Super League.Because these Brazilian or African Players cannot speak ever a single sentence in Chinese and not born in China.Not like the African players in France or other Europe country,they were born in those countries and have knowledge on the culture of that country,so they should be one part of the country.But that's pretty different in China.

  15. Is good to know the France can produce more players then croissants!!! I wish they could produce an army back in the 40's instead of resin others to save them$

  16. -France when they need you:
    oh man you are born here you are french
    -when they don't need you:
    go to the corner you are immigrant not a french
    Sad story but true everyone knows it

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