This Day In Sports History (July 12th) – France Men’s Soccer Team
It was on this day in 1998 that the final for the World Cup was played at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France. In that game, France would defeat Brazil by a score of 3-0 to earn their first World Cup trophy.
France breezed through the group stage, winning all three games and scoring nine goals while conceding just one. Things got tougher in the knockout stage, however, as it took them until extra-time to defeat Paraguay. They needed penalty kicks to beat Italy in the next round and narrowly beat Croatia, 2-1, to reach the finals. Brazil also finished first in their group and crushed Chile in their first knockout game, 4-1. They then went on to defeat Denmark and Holland in the following two rounds, reaching their second consecutive World Cup final.
In the finals, French midfielder Zinedine Zidane scored two almost identical goals in the first half off corner kicks. Both times Zidane was able to free himself from the Brazilian defender and score on a powerful header. There was no coming back for Brazil in this match, as France became the seventh different nation to win the World Cup and the sixth to do so on home soil.
Here are France’s three goals from the finals.
Travis Best, NBA – Born July 12th 1972 (age 41) in Springfield, Massachusetts
Christian Vieri, Soccer – Born July 12th 1973 (age 40) in Bologna, Italy
Antonio Cassano, Soccer – Born July 12th 1982 (age 31) in Bari, Italy