The 5 Best French Strikers of all time

Best French Strikers of all time: French football has many great attackers over the years. These players have amazed fans with their skills and goal-scoring abilities. From the stylish play of Just Fontaine to the precise finishing of Olivier Giroud, French strikers have played a big role in the national team‘s success.


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Who is the Best French Strikers of all time?
Best French Strikers of all time

Best French Strikers of all time

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the best French strikers who have worn the famous blue jersey and led Les Bleus to victory.

5. Olivier Giroud

  • Date of Birth: 30 September 1986 (age 37)
  • Height: 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

At number 5 in our list of Best French strikers of all time is Olivier Giroud. In the beginning, when he played for less well-known clubs, nobody could predict that he would later become a key player for top clubs in England and Italy, as well as a major figure for the French national team. Giroud holds the record for the most goals scored for the French national team.

Best French Strikers of all time
Image Source: Instagram

He had a strong start at Grenoble, showcasing his goal-scoring abilities and earning a reputation for deciding games. After a successful stint at Montpellier, he earned call-ups to the French national team.

Moving to Arsenal marked a turning point in his career, and he gained global recognition as an excellent goal scorer. He was part of the preparations for the 2014 World Cup, although he didn’t score any goals in the tournament.

Giroud continued his impressive goal-scoring record at Arsenal, concluding the 2017/18 season with 253 appearances and 105 goals. However, his time at Chelsea didn’t match his earlier success. Despite a good start, he lost playing time and didn’t have a standout period. Nevertheless, he was a part of the French team that won the 2018 World Cup, even though he didn’t score during the tournament. He also played in the 2022 World Cup but his team lost in the final against Argentina.

Goals for France:

Career SpanAppGoals
2011–127 54

Honours:

  • FIFA World Cup: 1x (2018)

4. Karim Benzema

  • Date of Birth: 19 December 1987 (age 35)
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Ranked 4th in our list of Best French Strikers of all time is Karim Benzema. He started his career at Lyon’s youth academy and played for his hometown club from 2004 to 2009. In 2009, he made a move to the Spanish powerhouse, Real Madrid.

Best French Strikers of all time
Image Source: Instagram

Since joining Real Madrid, Benzema has been a prolific goal scorer, averaging just over a goal every two games and netting 415 league goals in 219 appearances. Considered one of the best strikers of his generation by his peers, Benzema has become a crucial figure for Real Madrid, serving as the team’s talisman.

Throughout his career with Real Madrid, Benzema has achieved significant success, winning four La Liga titles and an impressive five Champions League winners’ medals, along with various other domestic honors. He has played a key role in many final appearances for his team.

Despite being 35 years old, Benzema continues to excel on the field, showing no signs of slowing down. His strength on the ball, tactical awareness, and consistent goal-scoring make him more important than ever for both his club and the national team.

For the French national team, Benzema played 97 times from 2007 to 2022, scoring 37 goals. He was suspended from international duty between 2015 and 2021. Representing France in one World Championship (2014) and three European Championships (2008, 2012, 2021), his notable achievement was winning the 2021 UEFA Nations League.

In 2022, Benzema received significant recognition, being named UEFA Player of the Year and winning the Ballon d’Or as the World Footballer of the Year by France Football.

Goals for France:

Career SpanAppGoals
2007–20229737

Honours:

  • UEFA Nations League: 1x (2020–21)
  • FIFA World Cup runner-up: 1x (2022)

3. David Trezeguet

  • Date of Birth: 15 October 1977 (age 46)
  • Height: 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

In the third spot on our list of Best French strikers of all time is David Trezeguet. He was part of the World Cup-winning team in 1998 and the European Championship-winning team in 2000. Trezeguet played for the Italian powerhouse Juventus Turin from 2000 to 2010.

Best French Strikers of all time
Image Source: Instagram

Known for his exceptional heading ability and remarkable composure in front of the goal, Trezeguet earned the nickname “Trezegol,” a comparison made by Michel Platini to the legendary Paolo Rossi.

Goals for France:

Career SpanAppGoals
1998–20087134

Honours:

  • FIFA World Cup: 1998, runner-up: 1x (2006)
  • UEFA European Championship: 1x (2000)

2. Jean-Pierre Papin

  • Date of Birth: 5 November 1963 (age 60)
  • Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

At the second position in our list of ”Best French Strikers of all time” is Jean-Pierre Papin. Known as a natural goal-scorer, Papin possessed a variety of techniques to beat opposing goalkeepers, whether through powerful shots into the bottom corner, clever chips, or well-placed low shots – he always found a way to score.

Best French Strikers of all time
Image Source: Instagram

He had a notable performance in the 1986 World Cup, where he scored two goals in four appearances, contributing to France’s third-place finish in the tournament. Papin belonged to the “cursed generation” between Platini (80s) and Zidane (90s), experiencing the disappointments of France being left out of the World Cup (1990, 1994) and the Euro (1988).

Pele, the legendary football figure, included Papin in his list of the 100 most outstanding players. Papin played for renowned clubs such as Belgian Bruges, Italian Milan, Bayern Munich, and French clubs like Olympique. He clinched the Ballon d’Or in 1991.

With 30 goals in 54 appearances for the French national team, Papin showcased his talent and earned the Ballon d’Or recognition in 1991 during his time with Marseille.

Goals for France:

Career SpanAppGoals
1986–19955430

Honours:

  • Kirin Cup: 1x (1994)
  • FIFA World Cup third place: 1x (1986)

1. Just Fontaine

  • Date of Birth: 18 August 1933
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Taking the top spot as the Best French striker of all time is Just Fontaine. Unfortunately, many people didn’t have the chance to witness his playing prowess, but Fontaine had an incredible knack for scoring goals, boasting a record where he scored more goals than the number of games he played for the national team.

Image Source: Instagram

Throughout his twelve-year career, Fontaine played for USM Casablanca, OGC Nice, and Stade Reims. With Stade Reims, he clinched the national championship three times and reached the final of the European Cup in 1959. Despite facing challenges with two broken legs, he retired at the age of 28. Fontaine later transitioned to coaching, and guiding national teams for France and Morocco, as well as managing Paris Saint-Germain and FC Toulouse.

In the history of the competition, only Miroslav Klose, Ronaldo Fenômeno, and Gerd Müller have scored more goals than Fontaine. For these remarkable achievements and more, Fontaine rightfully holds an honorable place among the greatest strikers of all time.

Goals for France:

Career SpanAppGoals
1953–19602130

Honours:

  • FIFA World Cup third place: 1x (1958)

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