What can we learn from France in the World Cup?


The France national team showed several important lessons during the World Cup and here are some of them:

  • – No player, no matter how good, is above the team. The system and teamwork come first, then the players come in with their strengths. 


  • – Self-sacrifice and determination – players do what’s needed of them at different times of the game and depending on the opposition. If you need to defend, you defend. If you attack, you attack. 


  • – Leading by example – Griezmann is the best example of this. He’s played in all the following positions during his years in the French team – Striker, Right winger, left winger, shadow striker, attacking midfielder, and central midfielder. He’s the one who always puts in the hardest work and has the biggest impact in the defensive as well as offensive play. 


  • – Trust – The coach has great trust in his players, knowing they will give their absolute best and often do much better than in their club teams. Think about: Griezmann, Giroud, or Pogba (when he’s not injured). 


  • – Education – France has had one of the best training and schooling for football players in the past 30 years. It shows in the depth of the players the team has. Before Benzema was injured, Giroud was meant to be on the bench together with Coman (awesome attacker) Nkunku + Thuram (1st and 2nd best goalscorers in the Bundesliga this far). 


  • – The French football league is not the wealthiest league in the world – meaning young french players get their chances to play football at the top level at a young age and can then move on to other better leagues to face the very best players from all around the world and learn new ways of playing. They know more about their opponents and can adapt much more easily to different systems and different styles of opposition. 


  • – No bloated egos – unlike England or Brazil who always seem to think that they will “take it home” after winning one or two games against weak opponents, France shows a lot of respect for their opponents and rarely takes a game lightly. 


  • – They manage their downtimes very well. Even when it feels like the other side is very close to scoring, they manage to prevent the other team from scoring. 


  • – They manage their uptimes very well. When they have a stretch of 20-30 minutes when they are in control they often end up scoring a goal to put them ahead. 


  • – They keep their cool under pressure – even when they are trailing or conceding the first goal, they don’t start yelling at each other or stressing to get another goal. They talk to each other, play the ball around, and patiently work their way back to the game and the scoring board. 


  • – They have experience. Many players have played together for a very long time. Several of them have beaten records such as most games played for France (Lloris), most assists in the France national team (Griezmann), most goals in the French national team (Giroud), most games as a coach (Deschamps) and more. 


  • – Diversity – the French national team reflects French society as a whole. They are players from many different countries who have been born in France to immigrant parents (often from colonies) or moved to France at a young age. Many come from modest backgrounds with a few coming from more wealthy families. They still manage to play and enjoy themselves together. 


  • – A winning mentality – starting from Deschamps who has won the World cup both as a player and coach to the players who have won the world cup, most players are used to competing to win titles in their respective clubs. They don’t care what it takes to win or how they should play, they do what is needed of them and fold their egos to bring back the title. 


  • – No focus on one or two major stars – no dependency. Even when Zidane was playing or now that Griezmann or Mbappe are playing, the focus of the play is not on them dribbling off everyone, they are focused on playing with others and helping each other to win and score goals. It doesn’t matter who scores to them, the joy is just the same when celebrating a goal. 


There are many things that can and should be replicated in your business in order to build a successful company. Are there any other observations you have made during the world cup?