REAL MADRID boss Zinedine Zidane called Karim Benzema the best French striker of all time … but is he right?
Les Bleus have been fortunate to have several world-class players over the years, helping to win two World Cups and two European Championships.
Strikers such as Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Eric Cantona and Olivier Giroud can all claim to be in the top five.
And a number of major offensive midfielders, including Zidane, Michel Platini and Raymond Kopa, provided the ammunition.
But, as with any list of this caliber, there are some big names that should be omitted.
Here, SunSport details our top five scorers in the history of French football.
5 – Antoine Griezmann
As mentioned, several high-level players would jostle for this position with Giroud, Mbappe, Jean-Pierre Papin and Sylvain Wiltord unhappy to miss out.
Still, Barcelona star Griezmann led the attack to two finals in his three majors.
Vital goals against Ireland and Germany set up a final defeat at Euro 2016 before scoring the World Cup final goal two years later.
4 – David Trezeguet
Scoring goals in friendlies or against minnows in qualifying is all well and good, but it’s the big moment when the heroes show up.
Trezeguet’s golden goal of winning Euro 2000 is forever etched in French football history.
And the former Juventus ace has been part of an impressive attack for more than a decade, ranking fourth in his country’s all-time top scorer with 34 goals.
3 – Karim Benzema
What could have been, had Benzema not been involved in a sextape blackmail scandal with former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, is speculation.
The 32-year-old denies all the allegations but hasn’t played for Les Bleus since 2015.
Zidane praised his work ethic and quality in bringing others into the attack, which cannot be questioned with Benzema winning four La Liga titles so far, four Champions League crowns and four Ligue 1 victories in a fantastic career.
2 – Juste Fontaine
Scoring 30 goals for his country is only enough to make Fontaine, 87, the tied seventh top scorer in French football cancellations.
But a career-ending injury made it into just 21 games, putting him head and shoulders above nearly any player of any nationality in goals-to-game ratio.
Fontaine’s 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup remain a record, in a tournament where only Pelé’s Brazil could eliminate the Blues.
1 – Thierry Henry
Entering the scene as France’s top scorer in the 1998 World Cup triumph, Henry established his stand for years to come.
Another trio en route to Euro 2000 continued their ascent before their best calendar year came in 2003 – scoring 11 goals in 14 games.
Retired internationally in 2010, he held a national record of 51 goals with a total of 123 caps by far the most strikers to play for France.