Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery is among the creme de la creme of French players to have graced the Bundesliga. - © imago
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery is among the creme de la creme of French players to have graced the Bundesliga. - © imago
Bundesliga

From Franck Ribery to Bixente Lizarazu: Five of the best Frenchmen to play in the Bundesliga

FIFA World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso are two of the Bundesliga's most prominent French imports right now, but they are not the first to add their je ne sais quoi to the German top flight.

The VfB Stuttgart defender and Bayern Munich midfielder are likely to feature when the reigning world champions face the team they deposed from the top of the world game in Munich on Thursday.

The duo are part of a strong 2018/19 French contingent — third in size to only Germany and Austria — that will seek to build on the ooh la la legacy of their compatriots.

bundesliga.com has picked out five of the most magnifique Frenchman to have been (Eiffel) towers of strength in the Bundesliga.

Franck Ribery

Club(s): Bayern Munich
Bundesliga apps: 250

"For me and my family, Munich has felt like home for a long time," said Ribery, born in northern France, brilliant as a footballer at Bayern. He moved to Germany from Marseille in 2007 with promise, but surely few could have guessed he would deliver so spectacularly on it. Now 35, he has played more games for the record Bundesliga champions than any other foreign-born player, knocking current sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic off that particular perch last season. Eight Bundesliga titles, five DFB cups, the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League, 80 goals, 118 assists in a record 250 league appearances… Kaiser Franck's reign has been a glorious one.

Watch: A decade of Franck Ribery in the Bundesliga

Matthieu Delpierre

Club(s): Stuttgart, Hoffenheim
Bundesliga apps: 187

Matthieu who?!? The former Stuttgart and Hoffenheim man is the Pavard of his time, almost literally. Like France's freshly crowned FIFA World Cup winner, Delpierre started his career at Lille but — unlike Pavard — actually managed to establish himself in the northerners' first team. The 6'4" (1.93m) defender then joined Stuttgart in 2004, and in eight years at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena recorded one of the club's most notable successes: playing in all but one of the 34 Bundesliga matches that saw Armin Veh's 'jungen Wilden' — the youngest squad in the league — lift the 2006/07 title. After a 2012 move to Hoffenheim, 18 frustrating months followed for the Nancy-born man, who — incredibly — never won a single senior international cap for his country.

- © imago
- © imago
- © imago
- © imago