Several footballers born in France to Maghrebi parents have gone on to play for France and contribute to Les Bleus’ triumphs, one example being the recently retired Zinedine Zidane, whose parents are Algerian. Zidane is one of France’s best-ever players and was the hero of the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ final, scoring two goals in his country’s 3-0 victory over Brazil. The current France team contains the youngsters Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri, both of whose parents are Algerian, and Hatem Ben Arfa, the son of a former Tunisian international. All three were team-mates when France won the European Under-17 Championship in 2004.
22-year-old Younes Kaboul of Moroccan origin, who plays for English club Tottenham Hotspur and won the European Under-19 Championship with France in 2005, is also highly promising. “Algeria is where my parents come from and it is close to my heart, but I play for France”, says Benzema, one of the symbols of the “Zidane generation” of integrated players.