The 5 Best French Forward of all time

Best French Forward of all time: France is a wonderful country known for its rich culture, tasty food, and great soccer achievements, especially when it comes to forwards. Over the years, they’ve had amazing players like Thierry Henry and Kylian Mbappé who have impressed fans worldwide.

The 5 Best French Forward of all time

Deciding who is the absolute best among them is a tough call, but let’s explore the contenders for the title of the greatest French forward of all time.

5. Eric Cantona

  • Date of Birth: 24 May 1966 (age 57)
  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

At number 5 on our list of the best French forwards of all time is Eric Cantona. Known for his rebellious attitude, Cantona had his prime years at Manchester United, scoring 64 goals in 144 games. He’s regarded as one of the most significant players in United’s 20th-century history. However, he gained notoriety for a kung fu kick against a fan, leading to an eight-month ban.

Best French Forward of all time
Source: Transfermarkt

Despite this incident, in 2005, eight years after retiring in 1997, he was voted the best Premier League player ever by English football fans. After his successful football career, which included four English championships, Cantona transitioned to acting and also coached the French beach soccer team to a World Cup victory.

4. Roger Piantoni

  • Date of Birth: 26 December 1931
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Inside-forward

Ranked at number 4 on our list of the best French forwards of all time is Roger Piantoni. From November 1952 to September 1961, Piantoni earned 37 caps for the French national team, scoring 18 goals (20 with Nancy and 17 with Reims). Unfortunately, an injury kept him from playing in the 1954 World Cup, but he did participate in the 1958 tournament in Sweden, where he scored three goals.

Source: L’Équipe

Piantoni had a great partnership with Raymond Kopa, even though they never played together at the club level until Kopa returned to Reims in 1959. Piantoni also contributed to many of Just Fontaine’s goals by providing assists. France Football posthumously honored him, describing him as a “left-footed Kopa” and acknowledging his versatility as a goal-scorer, playmaker, and ball distributor.

3. Antoine Griezmann

  • Date of Birth: 21 March 1991 (age 32)
  • Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Forward, attacking midfielder

At the 4th spot for the best French forward of all time, we have Antoine Griezmann. He made a significant impact during the European Cup last summer, leading the national team to the finals by defeating strong opponents like Germany, showcasing his talent and influencing the team’s style of play.

Image Source: Instagram

Born in 1991 in the charming city of Mâcon in eastern France, Griezmann gained popularity, especially among French kids who proudly wear T-shirts with his somewhat challenging name. He joined the French national team in 2014 during the World Cup and has since played a key role for Atlético de Madrid, helping them reach the Champions League final in 2016 while playing in a central position.

Despite being linked to FC Barcelona, he decided to continue his journey with Atlético de Madrid. His standout performance during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he won three man of the match awards, including the final against Croatia (4-2), highlighted his skill and impact on the field. In the 2022 World Cup, Griezmann’s adaptability, leadership, and unwavering commitment were crucial to France’s success, even if he didn’t secure the top scorer title.

2. Thierry Henry

  • Date of Birth: 17 August 1977 (age 46)
  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

In the second spot for the best French forward of all time, we have Thierry Henry. Widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in recent years, Henry made a significant impact. The French international scored 51 goals in 123 games for his country and achieved success across various competitions throughout his career.

Image Source: Instagram

Henry, who spent four years playing for the New York Red Bulls, boasts an impressive list of achievements, including being a European and world champion, Champions League winner, and securing titles in the French, Spanish, and English leagues. He also added the Club World Championship to his collection.

His prime was notably at Arsenal FC, where he became the club’s all-time leading scorer with 226 goals. Henry announced his retirement from the French national team, where he holds the record for the most goals, on July 15, 2010, following a disappointing performance in the World Cup.

1. Kylian Mbappé

  • Date of Birth: 20 December 1998 (age 24)
  • Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

The title of the best French forward of all time goes to Kylian Mbappé. Despite being just over 24, Mbappé has already made a significant impact on the football world. Born in 1998 in the suburbs of Paris, he emerged as a football prodigy, with rumors suggesting his role in a remarkable football marvel that gained attention last season.

Best French Forward of all time
Image Source: Instagram

Mbappé trained at the prestigious Clairefontaine Academy, similar to Thierry Henry and Olivier Giroud, and played for AS Monaco from 2015 to 2017. His outstanding performances in the French League and the Champions League attracted offers from top European teams, with one valuing him at 40 million euros when he was only 17. Despite rumors of a 120 million euros offer from Real Madrid, Monaco refused, recognizing Mbappé’s incredible potential.

In August 2017, Paris Saint-Germain made a groundbreaking announcement about signing Mbappé from Monaco, with the transfer potentially reaching 150 million euros, making him the second most expensive player ever.

Mbappé made history in July 2018 by becoming the youngest player to score in a World Cup final since Pelé in 1958. Awarded the Best Young Player at the World Cup in Russia, he earned widespread praise for his speed, technique, and maturity from football experts like Gary Lineker, Pelé, and Jurgen Klinsmann.

The young star continued to shine in the 2022 World Cup, displaying electrifying speed, skill, and finishing ability. Scoring eight goals, including a hat-trick in the final against Argentina, Mbappé secured the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer. His remarkable performance cements his status as one of the world’s best young players, promising a bright future ahead.

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