Why are there so many black footballers on the French national team?

Last Updated on April 24, 2022 by

Historically, France as a country has a long-lasting vast colonial empire in Africa which is one of the major factors that contributed to the mixed-race in the French football national team and the whole country at large. Generally, race and nationalities are not the same and some countries are more diverse than others. The history of colonization and perhaps the country’s immigration system embraces diversity and allows dual citizenship which enables players or national teams to select individuals irrespective of their skin color or country of birth.

Having a mixture of different races is not limited to France’s national football teams alone as we have seen such cases in other top footballing nations like England, Belgium, and the Netherlands. This is a result of the colonial history of the countries and the diversity embraced allows players to be selected and called up to represent the national teams in football irrespective of race and complexion. In addition to that, the country prioritizes talent development and the French football is programmed to detect talented young players with more focus on abilities rather than race. Culturally, France is renowned for its diversity in race and the mixing of cultures. Talented Immigrants are legally nationalized to play for the National teams which is why a mixture of races is considered to be higher in France’s football national team compared to other countries with colonial history.

The origin of the different races in the France national team has been a subject of interest for decades and questions are being raised regarding why there are many black players on the French football national team. In this article, we will be taking an insightful look into the reasons and other related questions. Let’s proceed!

Why are there so many black footballers on the French national team?

black footballers on the French national team

As a rule, players are allowed to represent the native land of their parent origin in football at the national level. France is a country with rich colonial history in Africa and regularly allows an influx of immigrants from the countries they officially colonized. In broader terms, France is a multicultural country, and diversity is embraced. Football is mostly played in the poorer regions and suburbs of the country where immigrants and ethnic minorities are represented in numbers. Football is generally associated with lower-class citizens, who are mostly kids of black immigrants. Dual citizenship held by immigrants enables them to select their preferred country to play for. However, the facilities needed to explore the talent and utilize the perceived superior athletic qualities possessed by black players, with an additional chance to win the biggest trophy in international football is particularly the reason why black players choose to represent the French national team. Conclusively, the colonization of several African countries by France is a contributing factor to why French national teams have more blacks than other nations. However, the selection is majorly down to the ability of the players to perform at the highest level rather than race or skin color.

What is the reason behind having many black players on the French national team?

black players on the French national team

For historic reasons, France is known for its strong mixture of races and cultures. Black players in the French national team are mostly born and raised in France but might be from parents of different nationalities. For more clarity, a few reasons why black players are usually present in high numbers in the French football national teams are highlighted and discussed below.

  • The history of colonization by France of African countries in the past allows the inflow of immigrants from French-speaking countries in Africa since the 1960s.
  • Naturally, French people come in different colors, including overseas territory.
  • Football is more popular in lower-class neighborhoods in France. Rich kids play other sports and live tennis while football is regarded as a game for the less privileged.
  • France embraces cultural diversity and the is no room for racism.
  • The country’s immigration system allows dual citizenship which makes it easy for players to choose their respective nationalities.

Are the best players to play for the French football national team blacks? 

No! In a broad sense, race or skin color is completely different from nationality. France is predominantly a white country but has different minority, racial groups. Black players in the French national team are not generally from Africa and white players in the team are not automatically born in France. Historically, the first black football player to play for the French national team is Raoul Diagne in 1931. However, the best players in the colors of the French football national team are Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane. Ironically, the iconic duo are white by skin color and were of Italian and Algerian origins respectively.

Are there any players of European origin in the French football national team?

Yes! Antoine Greizmann is currently of the best players in French The football squad is born in Macon with Portuguese ancestry. Other players of European origin include Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, Hugo Lloris, and Oliver Giroud.


We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about why the France football national team has so many black players on the squad. Let’s have a look at them!

How many black players are on the French national team?

On average, there are about fifteen black players in the French football team squad, all major defendants of African origin. 

Is France a strong football team?

The French national team is up there among the elites in the football world, winning the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

How many times has France won the European Championships?

On two different occasions! First in 1984 and the second in the year 2000 which was hosted by the country.

Closing remarks

The long story of colonialism by France on African countries allows an inflow of immigrants from African countries. As a result of this, black players of African origins carry the French nationality which enables them to play for the national football team. Finally, France embraces diversity and has zero-tolerance for racism. The platform to develop and win major tournaments is provided for immigrants which makes it an interesting choice to represent the French national team as opposed to their country of birth in Africa.

We have come to the end of this article and we hope the resources provided therein are enough to answer your queries regarding the article topic. For feedback and questions, kindly reach out to us through the comment section.


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