Monday, 1 June 2009

Top 5 French footballers

Last week I was able to capitalise on my "Internet fame" by attending a screening of the new Ken Loach film "Looking For Eric". It features Eric Cantona (as himself) providing some psychotherapy to a Manchester postman whose life has gone off the rails. Well worth a watch if you get the chance. Anyway, as these things do, it got me thinking about my favourite French footballers. To avoid being desperately predictable I've excluded any of the Frenchman that played for Fulham (Louis Saha, Sylvain Legwinski and Steed Malbranque would have been shoe-ins otherwise).

1. Eric Cantona
King Cantona. Without a doubt the Frenchman I would have most enjoyed seeing in a Fulham shirt. He grabbed my attention at Leeds and then moved to another level with Man Utd at a point when they were just beginning their domination of British football.

2. Michel Platini
Silky skills that caught my eye during the '82 World Cup and lay the foundations for the great French team that was to eventually win the World Cup in '98. Played in the magic square midfield anchored by former Fulham manager Jean Tigana.

3. Thierry Henry
Set the Premier League alight for several seasons. Goals, goals, goals. I can't resist a goal scorer and Henry was one of the best.

4. Zinedine Zidane
As with so many overseas players, it took me a while to fully appreciate Zizou but oh what a player.

5. Patrick Viera
Fabulously talented "defensive" midfielder who turned out to be so much more. One of the first of the game's modern athletes and a player Arsenal still really need to replace.

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