The 1998 World Cup was the first to use the modern format of 32 teams, which has since provided the right mix of traditional soccer powers and up-and-coming contenders.
The French squad of 1998 featured stars like Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, Claude Makelele, and Robert Pires- all at the peak of their careers. This was the tournament in which Zidane established himself as a cult hero and proved to the world that he is one of the best midfielders of the modern era. Although Zizou scored only two goals during the tournament, they both came during the final against Brazil, which ended 3-0.
Brazil was the defending champion, but their most important player Ronaldo fell sick before the final and played well below par. Nevertheless, he won the Golden Ball award, which for some reason is given out before the final.
In retrospect, the 1998 World Cup featured a French team that was arguably the best of the decade, but its main legacy is a wonderfully symmetric format that transformed soccer into a truly global and delighted fans around the world.