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- Bayern is the FIFA Club World Cup
- Bavarian clothing has six French players in their ranks
- We take a closer look at the club’s lasting French connection
Bayern Munich’s love affair with French players dates back to the mid-90s with the arrival of Jean-Pierre Papin. Nascent Franco-Bavarian ties were further strengthened in the 2000s as Bixente Lizarazu, Willy Sagnol and Franck Ribery all followed in his footsteps. Today, the relationship is at its peak with no fewer than six Frenchmen seeking their trade for the European champions.
On February 11, the club’s Gallic flair was again as proof in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 ™. UEFA Champions League winners saw challenge from Mexico’s Tigres UNAL with a goal from Benjamin Pavard, just one of five Franzosens selected for the game. Bayern seem to be in seventh heaven with theirs Blues, as these seven statistics can attest.
Not content with choosing winning medals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ™, the Frenchmen Corentin Tolisso, Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard can now add the title as world champions in their CV. This means that the trio are current holders of seven titles that have also tasted success in the 2020 editions of the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, DFB Cup, UEFA Super Cup and DFL Supercup.
The record number of Frenchmen who have lined up for Bayern this season Bundesliga. And while Michael Cuisance, who participated in their opening match against Schalke, subsequently moved to Marseille, it is still leaving in order for arrival at the club: Kingsley Coman (2015), Corentin Tolisso (2017), Benjamin Pavard (2019), Lucas Hernandez (2019 ), Tanguy Kouassi (2020) and Bouna Sarr (2020).
By scoring the only goal in the Qatar 2020 final, Benjamin Pavard became the seventh French player to score a goal in this competition, after Nicolas Anelka, Jonathan Biabiany, Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema, Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre-Pierre Gignac.
Franck Ribery’s jersey number in Bavaria. He spent 12 years there, winning nine league titles and setting a new record for a foreign player. A true club icon after scoring 119 goals and 185 assists in 425 games, the Boulogne native even got a nickname permeated by Bayern history: Kaiser Franck – a reference to the legendary Bavarian and West German defender Franz Beckenbauer.
The number of goals scored for the club by Bixente Lizarazu, another legend from Bayern. The left-back enjoyed his best years in Bayern, where he won absolutely everything. He lived there for eight seasons in total, as did compatriot Willy Sagnol, another wingback and Bayern favorite. Such was the precision of Sagnol’s deliveries from outside that he was nicknamed Flankengott, meaning ‘god of the cross’.
Bayern, like all German clubs, love the French. The club is going to recruit young people because they are complete players, especially in terms of tactical awareness, reading the game and individual technique. The French sometimes take time to adapt because there is a rigor and discipline here that is light years from what is the norm with us. But once they’s done with it, the guys have fun. Then there is a very special sense of belonging to this club. It’s like a family.
The number of matches played in his maiden season by the first Frenchman to join the Bavarian club: Jean-Pierre Papin. A modest total no doubt, but the striker had more than his share of injuries during this time. That said, the JPP will always be the one to pave the way for its compatriots – 13 others to date – to put on the famous red jersey.
The number of years, Valerien Ismael had to wait to become a naturalized German. Ignored by the French national team, he made the request in 2006 in hopes of participating in this year’s World Cup for The team. However, it should not be. The former Bayern defender, who scored two goals in 46 appearances between 2005 and 2007, finally gained German citizenship in 2013.
For a long time, the club knew how to integrate South American players, but not other nationalities. But today, everyone thinks the French are reliable. Lizarazu and Sagnol were the ones who started the love affair. We know that tactical French players adapt very quickly thanks to their training and there is no reluctance to go there. If a player as emotionally charged as Ribery could thrive there, it’s because this club is a family. It’s perfect for a French football colony.