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Top 5 France v Brazil Clashes Of All Time

24 June 1958 World Cup semi-final

Brazil 5-2 France

The 1958 tournament in Sweden brought young Edson Arantes De Nascimento to the world's attention; the 17-year-old Pele exploded onto the football consciousness and has stayed there since. The semi-final clash against France in Solna featured a hat-trick from the precocious teenager. The support cast for the South Americans was not bad either. There were assists from Garrincha and goals too from Vava and Didi. The former's clash with Robert Jonquet effectively reduced les Bleus to 10 men for two thirds of the game. France struck twice, through the legendary Just Fontaine and Roger Piantoni. But the day, and eventually the trophy, belonged to the samba stars.

21 June 1986 World Cup quarter-final

France 1-1 Brazil

In terms of pure skill, this was the greatest World Cup game of all time. The superb France side of the 1980s was in its last tournament with Platini, Giresse, Tigana and Dominique Rocheteau all now in their thirties. Meanwhile, this was also the final World Cup for many Brazil legends such as Socrates, Junior and Zico. In the scorching sun, Brazil roared into the lead through Careca and missed a number of chances to extend their advantage. France equalised through Platini, and the two teams exchanged blows in a truly epic encounter. The Guadalajara crowd chanted Zico’s name so loud and for so long, demanding that the veteran was brought on as a substitute, that Tele Santana eventually obliged. Zico rolled back the years, creating a penalty with a genius through pass. Zico stepped up to win the game for Brazil, but inexplicably saw his spot-kick saved by man-of-the-match Joel Bats. The game went to penalties after more missed chances. The two captains both incredibly failed – Socrates and Platini – but it was France who emerged victorious.

3 June 1997 Le Tournoi de France

France 1-1 Brazil

Not so much an outstanding match as one that was defined by an outstanding moment. Roberto Carlos delivered quite possibly the greatest free-kick the game has ever witnessed. The tournament was conceived as a dry run for the 1998 World Cup and featured Brazil, the hosts France, Italy and England. Almost as amazing as Roberto's free-kick was the fact that England won the competiton. Marc Keller, once of the West Ham parish, also netted in the game but thanks to the former Real Madrid left-back's intervention his strike has become only a footnote in history.

12 July 1998 World Cup final

Brazil 0-3 France

The shadow of Ronaldo's mystery injury/illness loomed large over this tie and it was apparent that something was troubling the world's best forward. Brazil could not inject any verve or energy into their game and they were soundly beaten by the hosts, two days before Bastille Day. The France team was seen as a poster for the country's mulicultural make-up and it was the son of Algerian immigrants, Zinedine Zidane, who scored the first two goals. The unashamedly Gallic Emmanuel Petit rounded out the scoring in injury time.

1 July 2006 World Cup quarter-final

Brazil 0-1 France

The much vaunted Brazil team of 2006 was seen as a collection of the world's best players at their peak but Carlos Alberto Parreira's side could not live up to their billing. Instead it was left to the veteran Zidane to show them who was still the top dog. The playmaker dominated proceedings, finding space to play delicate passes and influence the game from a host of positions. Thierry Henry scored off a Zizou delivery to push France into a semi-final meeting with Portugal. The final would again feature Zidane as a protagonist...