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France's President of 1998 on Russia 2018

FIFA World Cup

"France 1998 in three words? Work, joy and victory "

France would like nothing better than to see Kylian Mbappe, one of world football’s brightest young stars, inspire Les Bleus to a second world title at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.  The Paris Saint-Germain striker was not even born when the first was won, on home soil on 12 July 1998, a day on which Laurent Blanc hoisted the Trophy aloft.

Yet like all French football fans, the young Mbappe is very familiar with the story of how that legendary triumph took shape, not least the part that the man they call Le Président played in it. The scorer of a golden goal in the Round-of-16 tie against Paraguay, Blanc went on to pick up a red card in the semi-final against Croatia, causing him to miss out on the Final.

In the two decades since then, the former central defender has forged a successful coaching career, and recently took part in the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, an occasion on which he was able to get close once more to a Trophy that has brought him so much joy and so many happy memories. To mark the 20th anniversary of French football’s finest hour, Blanc looked back on France 1998 in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.

Ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ this summer, France 1998 winner Laurent Blanc reflects on winning the ultimate prize on home soil and gives his views on the current Les Bleus generation.


"Things change a lot when you win the World Cup. It changes your life as a player and it changes the way others look at you."


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