The France national football team made their first ever appearance in a 3-3 draw with Belgium in 1904. The game was dubbed the Evence Coppee trophy, named after the man who had organised the fixture in the framework of the Franco-Belgian relations, and was the start of a long and rocky road for the French national football team. Les Bleus have, perhaps surprisingly considering their widely-held status as a major international force in football, enjoyed only sporadic success at the World Cup.
The French team has a history veering from (often unexpected) success to crippling underachievement, the latter characterised in recent years by petty squabbles and divisions within the squad. When things do go well for France, though, they can be a devastating force. Typically, their successes are galvanised by one outstanding talent; the likes of Just Fontaine, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane. Despite their shortcomings, France remains one of the illustrious seven nations to have lifted the World Cup trophy, after they won it as hosts in 1998.