Sport in France

France like many countries has a taste for popular sports such as Rugby, Football and basketball. Cycling is also a very well followed sport, with many people in France cycling as a hobby. Horse racing is very popular especially trotting.

Football teams

FFF : The official site for the French Football Federation and the national team Les Bleus, they won the world cup in 1998, beating Brazil 3-0. They also won the European cup in 1984 and 2000.

Some of the players are living legends such as Zidane, Henry are house-hold names today, but you can't forget the old school such as Eric Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin and Michel Platini.


Links to the main French football clubs

AUXERRE
BASTIA
LE HARVE
LENS
MARSEILLE
METZ
MONTPELLIER
NANCY

PSG
RENNES
STRASBOURG
BORDEAUX
LYON
MONACO
NANTES
ST ETIENNE

Rugby

France is host to the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The most unpredictable rugby team in the world, sometimes they play the most spectacular and imaginative rugby ever, but often at the beginning of the second half, you think they have just come back from a wine tasting...

The first rugby team in France dates back to 1872, with Le Harve. they started playing the Five Nations in 1910, and won their first match in 1911, they had to wait until 1959 to win the Five Nations, 1968 for the first Grand Slam, 1977 the second time, 1981 for the third, 1987, the forth, 1998 the sixth time.

Some of the most famous players are: Serge BLANCO, Abdelatif BENAZZI, Philippe BERNAT-SALLES, Fabian GALTHIE, Christophe LAMAISON, Thierry LACROIX, Fabien PELOUS (100+ caps), Philippe SELLA.

FFR, the French Rugby Federation
Stade Toulouse
Stade françis Rugby
USAP Perpignan Roussillon
CA Brive-Corréze Bègles Bordeaux

Horse Racing

Trotting is very popular in France.

Chantilly, a very nice site from one of the Horse racing capitals.

Le Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp

Sailing

France is often used as a starting point for great sail races such as the Route du Rhum, Vendée Globe and the Solitaire du Figaro, with champions such as:

  • Isabelle Autissier
  • Catherine Chabaud
  • Yves Parlier
  • Olivier de Kersauson
  • Eric Tabarly
  • Florence Arthaud
  • Alain Colas

Cycling

Cycling is one of the most popular sports in France, with thousands of riders cycling everyday as professional, amateur and for pleasure. You'll see many people on the roads in small groups, teams or as individuals.

Just for interest, the Tour de France is the world's most biggest spectator sport, With more than 2,000 miles course lasts up to three weeks and is held in July. The route changes from each year and sometimes goes abroad. However the end of the race is always on the Champs Elysees at Paris. The race started in 1903, and crosses France, there are some very famous sections with step rides over the mountains, such as the stage at the Alpe d'Huez, there are many famous cyclist such as Louison Bobet, Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and of course Lance Armstrong.

There are also other famous French cycling races such as the Paris Nice and Paris-Roubaix.

Judo

The Judo clubs have given some excellent champions such as David Douillet.

Motor racing

Renault and Alan Prost, Jacques Lafitte from the world of F1, the circuits of Mangy Cours, Monaco.

The famous 24 hour race at Lemans for cars and also another one for motor-bikes..

Rally racing with the Paris-Dakkard rally, teams like Citroen and Pegueot and a legend of a champion Sébastien Loeb.

And don't forget that Bugatti is French.

Petanque

This is the the famous game that is played outside of the French cafes, with a glass of wine, or if you are from the South of France at least a glass of Ricard ! There are two versions of the game Petanque and Boules, the rules are slightly different. The game is very social played amongst friends and family, however at a professional level it is a very serious and skilful game. Check out the a site for more information about Petanque.

Skiing

With some of the best snow and slopes in Europe, the mountains are perfect training ground for downhill, slalom and cross-country skiing.

  • Marielle Goitschel
  • Jean Claude Killy
  • Émile Allais

Tennis

Yannick Noah or Amelie Mauresmo, Henri Lecomte.

The French Open is held at Rolland Garros stadium, Paris at the end of May.