REAL MADRID boss Zinedine Zidane labelled Karim Benzema the best French striker of all-time… but is he right?
Les Bleus have been blessed with several world-class players over the years, helping rack up two World Cups and two European Championships.
Reigning world champions France have boasted a number of star forwards over the yearsCredit: Reuters
Strikers such as Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Eric Cantona and No2 goalscorer Olivier Giroud can all stake a claim to being in the top five.
And a number of great attacking midfielders, including Zidane, Michel Platini and Raymond Kopa, have provided the ammunition.
But, as with any list of this calibre, some top names must be left out.
Here, SunSport details our top five strikers in French football history.
5 – Antoine Griezmann
As mentioned, several top players would be jostling for this position with Giroud, Mbappe, Jean-Pierre Papin and Sylvain Wiltord unfortunate to miss out.
Yet Atletico Madrid star Griezmann has spearheaded the attack to two finals in his four major tournaments.
Vital goals past Ireland and Germany set up a Euro 2016 final defeat before he netted the go-ahead goal in the World Cup final two years later.
Antoine Griezmann was a focal point in France’s 2018 World Cup winCredit: Getty – Contributor
4 – David Trezeguet
Scoring goals in friendlies or against minnows in qualifying is all well and good, but it is the big moment when the heroes turn up.
Trezeguet’s golden-goal winner to win Euro 2000 is forever etched in France football history.
And the ex-Juventus ace formed part of an impressive attack for more than a decade, sitting as his country’s fifth-highest scorer of all-time with 34 goals.
David Trezeguet netted the goal that won Euro 2000Credit: EPA
3 – Karim Benzema
What could have been, had Benzema not become embroiled in a sex-tape blackmail scandal with former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, is anyone’s guess.
The 33-year-old denies all allegations but did not feature for Les Bleus between 2015 and his shock comeback to the squad in May for the Euros – immediately finding the net.
Zidane praised his work ethic and quality at bringing others into the attack, which cannot be doubted with Benzema so far claiming four LaLiga titles, four Champions League crowns and four Ligue 1 wins in a fantastic career.
Karim Benzema is still France’s sixth-highest scorer despite not playing for five yearsCredit: AFP or licensors
2 – Just Fontaine
Registering 30 goals for his country is only good enough to make 87-year-old Fontaine the equal-eighth top scorer in the annuls of French football.
But a career-ending injury meant he did so in just 21 games, putting him head and shoulders above almost any player of any nationality for goals-to-game ratio.
Fontaine’s 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup remains a record, in a tournament where only Pele’s Brazil could knock out Les Bleus.
1 – Thierry Henry
Bursting onto the scene as France’s top scorer in the 1998 World Cup triumph, Henry set out his stall for the years to come.
Another trio en route to Euro 2000 continued his ascent before his best calendar year came in 2003 – hitting 11 goals in 14 games.
Retiring internationally in 2010, he held a national record of 51 goals with his tally of 123 caps by far the most of any attacker to play for France.
Thierry Henry is France’s all-time top goalscorerCredit: AP:Associated Press
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