There's a French football documentary on Netflix well worth your time

It sets out the events that occurred since the glory of the 1998 World Cup

There's a French football documentary on Netflix well worth your time

Les Bleus documentary poster

Many moons ago, a documentary called More Than A Game illustrated the rise of French football from the dark days of the 1960s and '70s all the way to glory of World Cup victoire on home soil in 1998.

A myth of unity emanated from that triumph, exemplified by the projection illuminated on the L'Arc de Triomphe.

The hero of the hour in the World Cup final for the French was a man of Algerian descent, the one and only Zinedine Zidane. Surrounded by a multi-ethnic team and squad, the unity was symbolised by the term Black, Blanc, Beur.

Of course, as the events of the last 19 years has shown, France is far from united and in more recent times its people have been the victims of horrific terrorist attacks like those that occurred in Paris and Nice.

The country is also heading into a divisive Presidential election in which the far right is expected to reach the second round.

A new football documentary on Netflix called Les Bleus sets out what occurred since 1998, including the low points and scandals like the Zinedine Zidane headbutt, Thierry Henry handball against Ireland, the failed strike at the 2010 World Cup and controversies involving Karim Benzema, Nicolas Anelka, Laurent Blanc and others. 

Many familiar faces appear throughout the documentary including Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, France and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud  as well the heroes of 1998 like Lilian Thuram, Robert Pires and Youri Djorkaeff. 

But it's not just footballers who contribute, with actors, comedians and politicians also giving their take on two decades of turmoil on and off the field of play.

The question isn't what went wrong. In truth, it's that the 1998 World Cup created the myth of a unified nation when it fact the fractures of society were just being papered over.

I watched it last night (it's in French but subtitles are available) and thoroughly recommend it.