DEFENCE: Roberto Carlos (Brazil)The man with thighs the size of tree trunks, Brazilian left-back Carlos was a physical specimen despite his small size. Despite Roy Hodgson trying to play him as an attacking midfielder at Inter Milan, the Real Madrid legend made the left-back spot his own and reinvigorated the role of the full-back. His constant running and ferocious shots earned him the nickname The Bullet Man in his native Brazil. He starred at three World Cups for the Seleção, earning 125 caps for his country in total. His free-kick just prior to this tournament against the France national team was so incredible; physicists wrote a paper on it in 2010 to study the trajectory of the ball. 13 Ahead of the 2018 World Cup between France and Croatia, the talkSPORT.com team has been trawling through the archives to relive past tournaments.Here, we look at the 1998 edition, won by France on their home turf.Captained by Didier Deschamps and headlined by Zinedine Zidane, Les Bleus claimed the cup by destroying Brazil 3-0 in the Final at the Stade de France. DEFENCE: Frank de Boer (Netherlands)Although modern fans will remember him as the man who failed miserably as Crystal Palace manager, De Boer was as cultured a defender as they came. Originally starting as a left-back, he made the centre half position his own at international level becoming the second most capped player for his country. He was integral to the success enjoyed by the Netherlands in France as they reached the semi-finals before they were knocked out by eventual runners-up on penalties. De Boer will be best remembered for his incredible 60-yard pass to Dennis Bergkamp in the previous round which set up the Arsenal legend to score the goal to knock out Argentina. 13 GOALKEEPER: Fabien Barthez (France)The former Manchester United goalkeeper will always be renowned for his pre-match antics with Laurent Blanc; the centre-half insisted on kissing Barthezs bald bonce before every game. The ‘keeper played at three World Cups in total, but it was in his home country where he truly excelled. He conceded just two goals in seven games as France romped to victory, claiming the coveted Yashin Award as the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Now a motorsport driver, Barthez is set to take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans this summer. 13 13 France lift the World Cup trophy in 1998 DEFENCE: Lilian Thuram (France)The powerful centre-half featured at right back for his country during the 1998 World Cup and quickly showed to the world just why Parma had paid Monaco a hefty sum to take the talented defender to Serie A. He only ever scored two goals in his 142-cap career, but both came in the same game. Trailing 1-0 to Croatia in the semi-final, Thuram popped up with two crucial goals to take his side to the Final. His exploits earned him the FIFA Bronze Ball for being the third best player at the tournament. FORWARD: Ronaldo (Brazil)After a stunning debut season for Inter Milan with 34 goals, the eyes of the world were on the Brazilian striker. Did he show it? Not a chance. With his blistering pace and incredible footwork, the 21-year-old was seen as the best player in the world leading into the tournament. His four goals and three assists helped his country to the Final, but controversy marred his ending. After allegedly suffering convulsions just hours before the game against France, Ronaldo was withdrawn from the squad. Fearing an outrage from the fans at home and at the insistence of the striker, he was put back into the starting XI. However, it was a distinctly below-par performance, with the head of clinical neurology at the University of Birmingham saying; There is no way that he would have been able to perform to the best of his ability within 24 hours of his first fit. Ronaldo still earned the Golden Ball for the tournament after his earlier electric displays, but it was not before long injuries took their toll on the dynamic striker.*The 1998 World Cup All-Star Team was the first to name 16 players. We have cut the selection down to 11 to field a 4-4-2 formation. The five players excluded are: Jose Luis Chilavert (goalkeeper, Paraguay), Carlos Gamarra (defender, Paraguay), Edgar Davids (midfielder, Netherlands), Brian Laudrup (forward, Denmark), Dennis Bergkamp (forward, Netherlands)France v Croatia in the World Cup final is live on talkSPORT at 16:00 (UK time) DEFENCE: Marcel Desailly (France)One of the most decorated players in French football history, Desailly was a serial winner. Blessed with incredible athleticism, the former Chelsea and AC Milan star was equally adept at playing at the back or at the base of midfield. An exceptional leader who took no prisoners in the tackle, his partnership alongside Blanc was crucial to the success enjoyed by Les Bleus. Although he was sent off in the Final against Brazil, he was awarded the title of Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour for his incredible exploits after the tournament. 13 1998 WORLD CUP ALL-STAR TEAM Zidane was one of the stand out players, but he was not alone; Croatia’s Davor Suker confounded everyone to finish top scorer, Michael Owen burst onto the world stage, and Ronaldo put in world class performance after world class performance before a convulsive fit suffered on the eve of the final neutered the Brazil star for the showdown with France.These were just some of the best players in France, but else dominated the scene in 1998? The World Cup All-Star Team is named to remember the best performers, and you can see who was selected below
1998 FIFA WORLD CUPHosts: FranceChampions: FranceRunners-up: BrazilThird place: CroatiaFourth place: NetherlandsTop scorer: Davor Suker (Croatia) – 6 goalsBest Player: Ronaldo (Brazil)Best Young Player: Michael Owen (England) 13 13 13 MIDFIELD: Zinedine Zidane (France)The darling of French football and the player everyone pretended to be in the playground, Zidane was propelled to superstardom thanks to his displays in this tournament. After helping his country to an opening day victory against South Africa, the Juventus star was sent off in the second game for a stamp on a Saudi Arabia player. He returned to guide his side past Italy, Paraguay and Croatia. Zidane was seen as one of the key men for France and netted two vital goals in the Final. He subsequently won the Ballon dOr for that year and a huge image of his face was projected on the Arc de Triomphe with the words Merci Zizou emblazoned across it. 13 MIDFIELD: Rivaldo (Brazil)Rivaldo enjoyed a glittering career in Europe, most notably at AC Milan and Barcelona, and is rightly considered a legend of the game. Able to play as an attacking midfielder o as a second striker, his partnership with Ronaldo at the 2002 World Cup in Japan helped deliver their fifth world title. His performances in 1998 showed he had the quality to be an international superstar as he scored three goals to help the team to the Final. His brace against Denmark in the quarter-final set his country on the way to the Final and also earned him a place in the best XI. 13 FORWARD: Davor Suker (Croatia)The former Real Madrid, Arsenal and West Ham United striker honed his skills paying alongside 1986 World Cup winner Diego Maradona at Sevilla in the 1992/93 season. He helped Croatia to their first ever World Cup in France with an astonishing five goals in nine appearances, managing to take his goal scoring exploits into the Finals with him. He scored an incredible six goals in seven games at the tournament, including the opener in the semi-final. Although Croatia couldnt hold on, Suker was awarded the Golden Boot after finishing the tournament as top scorer. He also won the coveted Silver Ball award for finishing behind a certain Brazilian as the tournaments second best player. MIDFIELD: Michael Laudrup (Denmark)As with the aforementioned De Boer, an ill-fated stint as manager of a Premier League club should not deter from Laudrups incredible playing career. A member of Johan Cruyffs Barcelona Dream Team, the Denmark international did the unthinkable when joining Real Madrid in 1994. Such was his quality, Pele named him as one of the 100 Greatest Ever Footballers, and he was even knighted, receiving the Order of the Dannebrog in 2000. On the international front, he will always be remembered for his breath-taking solo goal against Hungary at the 1986 World Cup, but it was France 98 where he cemented his legacy. As captain of the side, Laudrup guided the team to the quarter-final stage, earning his 100th cap in the process. Although he retired after Denmark’s exit, he will forever be remembered as an international superstar. 13 13 13 MIDFIELD: Dunga (Brazil)Although his two spells as coach of the national team may have been disappointing, Dungas playing days were littered with success. His name literally translates to Dopey and was a nickname given to him by his uncle. He claimed his nephew would always be short but, unlike his namesake, the defensive midfielder was always switched on. After helping his country to World Cup victory in 1994, Dunga almost managed to retain the trophy despite playing his football in the J-League over in Japan at the time. A calm and assured leader on the pitch, his fight with Bebeto in the game against Morocco was a shocking low point.