Made in France: How 52 players born in a single country made it to the World Cup

France nearly stumbled against Australia, leading some people to worry that a terrifically gifted team might not fulfill its potential in Russia. But in another regard, France is clearly dominating this World Cup regardless of on-pitch results. Some 52 players across five teams at the tournament in Russia are French-born, and nearly a third of them come from Paris and its surrounding suburbs. What some call the greatest concentration of soccer talent in Europe has become a strong quadrennial presence. Since 2002, France has supplied more players and coaches for World Cup rosters—218 in total—than any other country, according to RunRepeat. As a result, the country’s soccer influence extends well beyond its own 23-man squad.

Read more of my "Made in France" piece at TheAthletic. Or read in pdf format here