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France Top Scorers of All Time

Wed 25 August 2021 | 10:30

Who are France national team all-time top scorers? If you are familiar with the French football, names like Thierry Henry, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane may come to your mind; they are indeed among France all-time top scorers, but they are not the only ones.

Based on

France national football team statistics and records

, there are 38 French footballers who have scored 10 or more than 10 goals for the French national team with only three of them having scored 10 goals - the rest have scored more than 10 goals.

And again based on the same statistics, only one of these footballers, namely Thierry Henry, has scored more than 50 goals and three of them including Henry have scored more than 40 goals for the French national team.

The List of France Top Scorers of All Time

So, which other footballers populate the list of France all-time top scorers? And how many of them have scored 30 or more than 30 goals for the French national team? Stay with us to find out.

Thierry Henry (51 Goals)

Based on France national football team statistics and records, Thierry Henry is France top goal scorer of all time, in fact, up until today. The top retired French forward scored a total of 51 goals in the 123 appearances that he made for the French national team between 1997 and 2010 which actually gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.41 meaning that he scored a little bit more than two goals (exactly 2.05) in every 5 appearances that he made for his country’s national team.

Henry is mostly known as an Arsenal player since he actually made the most number of his club appearances (370) and scored the most number of his club goals (226) for them. With that number of goals, he’s, in fact, Arsenal’s top scorer of all time, and that is not the only record Henry has to his name; he was named French Player of the Year 5 times during his career - 4 of which were consecutive - which is more than any other French player in the history of French football, having made the most number of World Cup appearances (17 shared with Fabian Barthez) and also World Cup final appearances for France (4 in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), and indeed what puts him at the top of the list of France top scorers of all time: The most number of goals a French player has ever scored for the

French national team

.

From among all the record 51 goals Henry scored for France 17 (33.3%) were scored in international friendlies, 12 (23.5%) atWorld Cup qualification rounds and World Cup group stage and play-offs with each of them getting a share of 6 goals from Henry’s international goals, 12 (23.5%) at Euro qualifying rounds, 6 (11.7%) at Euro group stage and play-offs, and finally 4 (7.8%) at Confederations Cup. Henry also provided 30 assists, and received 7 yellow cards and one direct red card in his international appearances.

Olivier Giroud (46 Goals)

The first footballer on the list of France top scorers of all time who is still in the business, Olivier Giroud is a 34-year-old forward currently playing for the Serie A club, AC Milan, and having served the two top Premier League clubs,

Arsenal

and Chelsea, for some time during his career. Giroud has been serving the French national team since 2011 taking part in three editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 2010, 2014, and 2018 editions of the competition, and actually winning the last one (2018 World Cup) with them.

Giroud is by now 34 years old and the probability that he will take part in another World Cup - actually the coming 2022 World Cup - is low, however, he has still time to represent France in other international competitions and increase the number of goals he has scored for them which we will surely update you with. He’s just by 5 goals behind Thierry Henry and if he can increase the number of his international goals only by 6, then he will surely take Henry’s place on the list of

France all-time top scorers

.

Well, let’s see where actually Giroud’s international goals have been scored. From among all the 46 goals

Giroud

has scored for France 26 (56.5%) were scored at international friendlies, 7 (15.2%) at World Cup qualification rounds and group stage and play-offs with the former getting a share of 6 and the latter - we mean group stage and play-offs - getting a share of 1 from Giroud’s international goals, 3 (6.5%) at Euro competitions, 6 (13%) at Euro qualifying rounds, and finally 4 (8.6%) at UEFA Nations League.

Giroud has also provided 13 assists and received seven yellow cards but no red card in all his international appearances. And all his 46 goals for France have been scored in 110 appearances which gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.42 - very near to that of Henry - and means the same thing: A little bit more than 2 goals in every 5 appearances.

Michel Platini (41 Goals)

The legendary French footballer whose name will never be forgotten in the France and also world football, Michel Platini played as an attacking midfielder and only for 3 clubs including Juventus during his career - the other two are

Nancy

and Saint-Étienne. Being a midfielder and finishing third on the list of top scorers of a country (in our case France) is by itself an achievement let alone other achievements Platini got to during his career among which are three consecutive Ballon d’Or trophies in 1983, 1984 and 1985.

Platini made a total of 72 appearances for the France national team between 1976 and 1987 and, as mentioned above, scored 41 goals for them during this time which actually gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.57 meaning the top retired French midfielder scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.14) in every two appearances that he made for his country’s national team. Platini also served France Olympic team sometime between 1975 and 1976 making 7 appearances and scoring 4 goals for them in the process.

From among all the 41 goals Platini scored for France national team 14 (34.1%) were scored in international friendlies, 12 (29.2%) at World Cup qualification rounds, 5 (12.1%) at World Cup group stage and play-offs, 1 (2.4%) at a Euro qualifying round, and 9 (21.9%) at Euro competitions. Platini also provided 17 assists and received only one yellow card - actually in World Cup - during his international career. And it must be interesting here for you to know that Platini also played one match for the Kuwaiti national team in a friendly against the former Soviet Union in 1988 - actually a year after his international retirement - at the Kuwaiti Emir’s request which actually ended in Kuwait’s 2-0 loss. Platini only played 21 minutes in that match.

Antoine Griezmann (38 Goals)

Another footballer on the list of

France top scorers of all time

who is still in the business, Antoine Griezmann is by now 30 years old and have a few more years in front of him in his profession. That being said and considering the narrow margin between his and Platini’s international goals - only 3, there is a high probability that Griezmann increases his international goals and improve his position on the list.

Griezmann

has been serving the French national team since 2014 and during this time has made a total of 95 appearances and scored 38 goals for them which actually gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.4 meaning that the top French forward has scored 2 goals in every 5 appearances that he has made for his country’s national team. He has also served France U19, U20, and U21 teams - actually between 2010 and 2012 - making 25 appearances and scoring 6 goals for them in the process.

Griezmann was part of the French national team who won 2018 FIFA World Cup and France U19 team who won UEFA European U19 Championship in 2010. From among all the 38 goals Griezmann has scored for France 14 (36.8%) have been scored at international friendlies, 6 (15.7%) at World Cup qualification rounds, 4 (10.5%) at World Cup group stage and play-offs, 3 (7.8%) at Euro qualifying rounds, 7 (18.4%) at Euro competitions, and 4 (10.5%) at UEFA Nations League. Griezmann has also provided 27 assists and received 6 yellow cards in his international appearances.

David Trezeguet (34 Goals)

Occupying the fifth position on the list of France top scorers of all time, David Trezeguet is a 43-year-old retired footballer who served the top Serie A club,

Juventus

, more than any other club during his career; actually for 10 years between 2000 and 2010 where he made 245 appearances and scored 138 goals for them. Trezeguet also served the French national team between 1998 and 2008 making 71 appearances and scoring 34 goals for them in the process which gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.48 meaning that the top former French forward scored almost one goal (exactly 0.96) in every two appearances for his country’s national team.

From among all the 34 goals Trezeguet scored for France 20 (58.8%) were scored at international friendlies, 2 (5.8%) at World Cup competitions including World Cup qualifying rounds, group stage and play-offs, and 12 (35.2%) at Euro competitions with Euro qualifying rounds getting a share of 9 (26.4%) and Euro group stage and play-offs a share of 3 (8.8%) from Trezeguet’s international goals. Trezeguet was also part of the French national team who won 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 UEFA European Championship.

Karim Benzema (31 Goals)

Another footballer on the list of France top scorers of all time who is still in the business, Karim Benzema is a 33-year-old forward currently playing for the top La Liga club, Real Madrid - he’s been since 2009. And the only other club he has served other than

Real Madrid

is Lyon for whom he played between 2004 and 2009 and for both their top-tier team who compete in Liga 1 and their B team competing in lower tiers of French league - actually Championnat de France which is the fourth tier of French football league system.

Benzema has also been serving the French national team since 2007 having made 87 appearances and scored 31 goals for them in the process which gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.36 meaning that the top French forward has scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.02) in every three appearances that he made for his country’s national team. And since Benzema is still in the business there is a high probability that he scores more goals for the French national team and improves his standing among the

France national team all-time top scorers

which we will surely update you with.

Ok! Let’s get to stats. From among all the 31 goals Benzema has scored for France 15 (48.3%) have been scored in international friendlies, 7 (22.5%) at World Cup including World Cup qualifying rounds, group stage and play-offs, and 9 (29%) at Euro competitions with 5 having been scored at Euro qualifying rounds and 4 at Euro group stage and play-offs.

Benzema

has also provided 19 assists and has never received a yellow or red card in his international appearances. We hope it stays the same. It should also be mentioned here that Benzema served France under-aged teams including France U17, U18, U19 and U21 teams between 2004 and 2006 making 35 appearances and scoring 20 goals for them in the process. He also won UEFA European U17 Championship with France U17 team in 2004.

Zinedine Zidane (31 Goals)

One of the greatest French footballers ever who needs no introduction and is actually the second midfielder after Michel Platini on the list of

France top scorers of all time

to have scored the most number of goals for the French national team: Zinedine Zidane. He’s 49 years old by now and as far as know he has left Real Madrid - as a manager - just recently in July 2021 after all his achievements with the club he also played for for 5 years at the end of his career.

Zidane

actually made 108 appearances for the French national team between 1994 and 2006 and scored 31 goals for them which gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.28 meaning that the top French midfielder scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.12) in every 4 appearances that he made for his country’s national team. Zidane took part in 3 editions of FIFA World Cup, namely the 1998, 2002, and 2006 editions of the competition, with the French national team winning the first one (1998 World Cup) and finishing as runners-up in the last one (2006 edition) where he also captained his country’s national team.

Zidane has a number of records to his name - both as a manager and player - four of which are World Cup related. These 4 records are oldest player to win the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (at the age of 34 years and 17 days), most goals scored in FIFA World Cup Final matches (3 goals) shared with Pele, Vava, and Geoff Hurst, most FIFA World Cup Final matches scored in (2 finals) shared with Pele, Vava, and Paul Breitner, and finally most red cards received in FIFA World Cup matches (2) shared with the Cameroonian footballer, Rigobert Song.

From among all the 31 goals Zidane scored for France 14 (45.1%) were scored at international friendlies, 11 (35.4%) at Euro competitions including Euro qualifying rounds (6) and group stage and play-offs (5), and 6 (19.3%) at World Cup competitions with 5 of them scored in World Cup qualifying rounds and 1 in World Cup group stage and play-offs. Zidane also provided 30 assists and received 12 yellow cards - one yellow card in every 15 appearances - and 2 direct red cards during his international career. It should also be mentioned here that he also served France U17, U18 and U21 teams between 1988 and 1994 making 30 appearances and scoring 4 goals for them in the process.

Just Fontaine (30 Goals)

The oldest footballer on the list of France top scorers of all time, Just Fontaine is a 88-year-old retired footballer who played for only 3 French clubs during his career: USM Casablanca, Nice, and

Reims

for the last of which he actually made the most number of appearances, scored the most number of goals, and earned all his club trophies with. Fontaine was indeed a prolific goalscorer and scored a total of 227 goals in his 248 appearances for the clubs mentioned above - just 21 more goals and he actually would have scored one goal in every appearance.

Let’s get to Fontaine’s international business! Although Fontaine couldn’t achieve that one-goal-per-match prize at club level, he actually did and even more in his international career: He scored 30 goals in his 21 appearances for the French national team which means he actually scored 1.4 goals in every appearance that he made for his country’s national team.

That goal-to-appearance ratio - we mean 1.4 - is also higher than the goal-to-appearance ratio of any other footballer on the list of France top scorers of all time. And unlike other footballers on the list who scored a major part of their international goals at international friendlies, Fontaine scored most of his international goals in World Cup matches - actually 16 three of which were scored in World Cup qualifying rounds - and only 9 goals at international friendlies.

Jean-Pierre Papin (30 Goals)

Another prolific goalscorer on the list of France national team all-time top scorers both at club and international level and the winner of Ballon d’Or trophy in 1991, Jean-Pierre Papin is a 57-year-old retired footballer who served some top European clubs like

AC Milan

and Bayern Munich some time during his career. He actually scored a total of 302 goals in the 540 appearances that he made for all the clubs he served during his career which means he scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.1) in his every 2 club appearances.

And what about Papin’s international career? Well, again he proved a prolific goalscorer: He scored 30 goals in his 54 appearances for the France national team which means the case with his club goal-to-appearance ratio repeated in his international career, too: He actually scored 1.1 goals in every two appearances for his country’s national team. From among all the 30 goals Papin scored for the French national team 10 (33%) were scored at international friendlies, 8 (26.6%) at World Cup competitions with 6 of them scored in World Cup qualifying rounds and 2 in World Cup group stage and play-offs.

And the rest 12 (40%) goals Papin scored for France were scored at Euro competitions with 10 of them being scored in Euro qualifying rounds and 2 in Euro group stage and play-offs. Papin also provided 5 assists and received 3 yellow cards - in Euro and World Cup qualifying rounds - but no red card during his international career. His best shot with the French national team at World Cup competitions was a third place in 1986 World Cup.

Youri Djorkaeff (28 Goals)

Another midfielder on the list of

France top scorers of all time

, Youri Djorkaeff is a 53-year-old retired footballer who played for the two top European clubs,

Inter Milan

and PSG, sometime during his career. Although not a prolific goalscorer, Djorkaeff scored enough goals for France to at least become France’s 10th top scorer of all time. He scored a total of 28 goals, as mentioned above, in 85 appearances for the French national team which gets him an international goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.34 meaning that he scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.02) in every 3 appearances that he made for his country’s national team.

From among all the 28 goals Djorkaeff scored for the French national team 15 (53.5%) were scored in international friendlies, 1 (6.6%) at World Cup, 1 (6.6%) at Confederations Cup, and 11 (39.2%) at Euro competitions with 8 of them scored in Euro qualifying rounds and 3 in Euro group stage and play-offs. Being a midfielder, Djorkaeff also provided 22 assists during his international career. He also received 3 yellow cards during such time but not red cards. He was actually part of the French national team who won 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2000 UEFA European Championship, and the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Rest of the France All-Time Top Scorers List

What we can get from the France national football team statistics and records is that the list of France all-time top scorers is not limited to the footballers mentioned above. Here are some other French footballers who have scored the most number of goals for their country’s national team. Please note that in the list below by ratio we mean international goal-to-appearance ratio and by service we mean the period during which a footballer served the French national team.

  • Sylvain Wiltord, Pos: forward, Goals: 26, Apps: 92, Ratio: 0.28, Service: 1999-2006

  • Jean Vincent, Pos: forward, Goals: 22, Apps: 46, Ratio: 0.48, Service: 1953-1961

  • Jean Nicolas, Pos: forward, Goals: 21, Apps: 25, Ratio: 0.84, Service: 1933-1938

  • Paul Nicolas, Pos: forward, Goals: 20, Apps: 35, Ratio: 0.57, Service: 1920-1931

  • Eric Cantona, Pos: forward, Goals: 20, Apps, 45, Ratio: 0.44, Service: 1987-1995

  • Jean Baratte, Pos: forward, Goals: 19, Apps: 32, Ratio: 0.59, Service: 1944- 1952

  • Roger Piantoni, Pos: forward, Goals: 18, Apps: 37, Ratio: 0.49, Service: 1952-1961

  • Raymond Kopa, Pos: midfielder, Goals: 18, Apps: 45, Ratio: 04, Service: 1952-1962

  • Kylian Mbappe, Pos: forward, Goals: 17, Apps: 48, Ratio: 0.35, Serive: 2017-now

  • Franck Ribery, Pos: midfielder, Goals: 16, Apps: 81, Ratio: 0.2, Service: 2006-2014

  • Laurent Blanc, Pos: defender, Goals: 16, Apps: 97, Ratio: 0.16, Service: 1989-2000

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source: SportMob

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