Over the years the French national team has produced some of the most talented and prolific attackers in football history.
Four years ago, teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe burst onto the scene and became the youngest player to score at a World Cup final since Brazilian legend Pele in 1958. The Paris Saint-Germain forward is now viewed as one of the best players in world football and he will be aiming to equal another record set by Brazil by winning consecutive World Cup’s for the first time since 1962.
Fellow French striker Just Fontaine is also viewed as an international icon. Fontaine scored an incredible 13 goals during the 1958 World Cup in Sweden - it is the highest tally of goals in a single edition of the World Cup in the tournament’s 92 year history.
A number of other greats have also graced the pitch for Les Bleus including three time Ballon d’Or winner Michel Platini, Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema and the 1998 World Cup winning partnership of Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet.
But who is France’s all time leading goalscorer and can the record be broken at this World Cup in Qatar?
Who is France’s all time leading goalscorer?
Former Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud has become France’s record goalscorer, his strike against Poland on 4 December was his 52nd for his country. It takes him past Thierry Henry’s haul of 51 goals.
AC Milan striker Oliver Giroud is now top of the illustrious list of top goalscorers for France after scoring 52 goals in 117 international appearances. The 36-year-old equalled Henry’s record with an excellent double for France during a 4-1 opening day victory over Australia, before surpassing him with a goal against Poland.
The former Arsenal and Montpellier striker was a late bloomer on the international scene and made his debut for France in 2011 at the age of 25. Giroud had never previously represented the French national team at any of the younger age groups.
The veteran striker has been a regular starter for the French team since the appointment of Didier Deschamps in 2012 and has formed excellent partnerships with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema. Giroud plays an integral part in the French setup and his hold up play is key to Deschamps’s philosophy and style of play.
Giroud has represented France in three World Cups and three European Championships. In that time the French striker has reached the Euro 2016 final and lifted the 2018 World Cup.
France are aiming to go deep into the competition at the World Cup in 2022 and Giroud needs just one more goal to go top of France’s all time goalscoring charts. France will take on Poland in the World Cup round of 16.
Henry enjoyed an incredible career for France on the international stage and is viewed as one of his country’s best ever players.
Henry represented France from 1997-2010 and was an integral part of the team. The 45-year-old scored three goals for France during the World Cup in 1998 and helped them to a first ever World Cup triumph on home soil - two years later he followed this up with a further three goals at Euro 2000 to help France to a second European Championship title.
Henry also reached the final of the World Cup in 2006 - the Frenchman was amongst the top scorers in the tournament with three goals and earnt a place in the team of the tournament. Henry announced his retirement from France after a disastrous tournament in 2010 which saw them exit the competition in the group stage.
France record goalscorers
Four of France’s 2022 squad feature in the top 10 goalscorers for their country.
Kylian Mbappe is viewed as one of the world’s most exciting talents and boasts an impressive record of 31 goals from 62 caps. The 23-year-old is likely to have a long career ahead of him and will be aiming to elevate his name up the leaderboard during the remainder of the tournament.
Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema also ranks highly in the list but is unlikely to add to that tally after sustaining an injury in the build up to the tournament.
- Oliver Giroud - 52 goals
- Thierry Henry - 51 goals
- Antoine Griezmann - 42 goals
- Michel Platini - 41 goals
- Karim Benzema - 37 goals
- David Trezeguet - 34 goals
- Kylian Mbappe - 31 goals
- Zinedine Zidane - 31 goals
- Just Fontaine - 30 goals
- Jean- Pierre Papin - 30 goals