The Expat Hub

French sports

The French are ardent sports fans and have one of the most successful football teams in the world having won the world cup in 1998. As well as football the French play a large number of sports, here’s just a few of them.


The French did not have an official handball team until the early 1990’s but since that time the country has gone on to make a number of successful appearances in several major international tournaments. The accomplishments include winning a bronze medal in the 1993 Summer Olympics, reached the finals of the World Championships in 1993 and finished third in the 2005 Olympic Games. The sport has seen increasing popularity across the country and is regularly played in primary and secondary schools.


The French love their tennis and every year in the spring; the world’s best clay-court players in the world come to the famous Roland Garros court to test their mettle. Tennis is the second most popular sport in the country after football.  The last Frenchman to win the French Open was Yannick Noah in 1983, while the last French woman, Mary Pierce, secured the title in 2000.

Rugby Union

Rugby Union has seen its popularity skyrocket over the last decade and the French team is now considered one of the top teams in the world and one of the strongest in Europe. France participates in the six nation’s tournament every year and has won the competition sixteen times. France is ranked fifth in the International Rugby board’s world rankings.


Basketball is a surprisingly popular sport in France but unlike in Spain the French national team isn’t very good. The national team is run by the Federation Francaise de Basket-Ball but unfortunately the national team has yet to win a major international tournament.


The sport of cycling is has very strong links to France. The apex of the sport the tour de France is one of the toughest and most watched Cycling events in the world. The event takes place every July and lasts three gruelling weeks and tests the riders to breaking point. The Tour is a fantastic showpiece for the French countryside and does a lot to promote tourism in the country.