15 Best French Strikers Ever

Who is the greatest French striker of all time?

France is a country that has a long history in the world of football. The country is the place where Jules Rimet, a person who created the World Cup tournament, was born. It is not surprising to know that football has become part of modern culture in France. This condition of course lead to the emergence of numerous talented football players born in the country.

In this article, I would like to invite you to take a look at some of the greatest French footballers, more specifically those who play as a striker. The players on this list do not only have world-class quality, but they also won many prestigious trophies with France national team and their respective clubs.

15. Karim Benzema

Benzema is a forward who was raised by Lyon Youth Academy. He has shown tremendous potential from a young age, where he was able to become the top scorer in the French league at the age of 20 years. After undergoing a fairly successful career with Lyon, he moved to one of the European giants, Real Madrid, in 2009. At Real Madrid, he played a role as a lone striker role and led the club win a Spanish League title in the 2011-12 season.

14. Eugène Maes

Eugene Maes was a French player who played in the 1910s. He is known as a very prolific striker, capable of scoring 15 goals in 11 appearances for French national team. He also became one of the two French strikers who can score five goals in a single game. This achievement was made in the match against Luxembourg in 1913. Maes suffered a tragic fate in which he had to retire as a footballer because of injuries that he sustained during World War I. His fate was more tragic in World War II, where he was reportedly died in a concentration camp.

13. Youri Djorkaeff

Djorkaeff is a retired striker who is more often played as an attacking midfielder in French national team. He is known as a player who has a high creativity and often scored goals from penalty kicks. Djorkaeff is one of the leading players of France when they won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. In addition to playing in France, Djorkaef also played for clubs in English, Italian, and German Leagues.

12. Bernard Lacombe

Bernard Lacombe was part of the French national team striker that won the Euro Cup in 1984. With a record 255 goals he scored in Ligue 1, Lacombe is the second top scorer of the competition of all time. Lacombe's best achievements at club level is three times winning Ligue 1 titles in the 1980s when he played for Bordeaux. After his retirement, Lacombe worked as a Lyon's coach for four years.

11. Sylvain Wiltord

Sylvain Wiltord is a retired winger forward who played alongside Thierry Henry at Arsenal. His consistent performance and his outstanding contributions to the club make Wiltord is often regarded as one of Arsenal's best striker of all time. With Arsenal, he won two Premier League titles and two FA Cup trophies. When he finally moved to Lyon in 2004, Wiltord still showed a brilliant achievement by helping the club win three French league titles.

10. Hervé Revelli

Herve Revelli holds the record as a French striker who win the most Ligue 1 titles. This achievement was made when he played played for Saint-Etienne, in which Herve won seven French League titles. Throughout his career at Saint-Etienne, he scored 175 goals in 318 appearances. Herve also played for French national team during the period 1966-1976, scoring 15 goals from 30 appearances.

9. Nicolas Anelka

Anelka is a striker who has a lot of experience playing in various parts of the world. He performed brilliantly with Arsenal in 1999, which led him to be awarded the title as the Best Young Player of the Premier League. After that, Anelka played for a lot of clubs, among them are: Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus, Fenerbahce, and even played for a Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua. He was also an important part of the French squad that win the Euro 2000 tournament.

8. Dominique Rocheteau

Rocheteau is one of the best strikers ever to play alongside Michel Platini. He successfully helped French national team become the champion of Euro 1984. He also three times won Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne. During his career, Rocheteau known as a winger striker who is very fast and dangerous. He possessed high running speed, good positioning capabilities, as well as amazing reflexes and techniques.

7. Roger Piantoni

Roger Piantoni was a striker who played in the period 1950-1966. He is known as a legendary player-of Stade Reims. He led the club win three French league titles and become a one-time runner-up of Champions League tournament. Not only that, Piantoni also twice became a French league's top scorer, one-time while playing for Nancy and one-time while playing for Reims. He was also included in the French squad that won the third place in the 1958 World Cup.

6. Eric Cantona

Eric "The King" Cantona is one of the most-loved strikers by Manchester United's fans. Not only known as a great goal scorer, Cantona is also a captain who is respected by his teammates. This player successfully led Manchester United win four Premier League titles and two FA Cup trophies. Throughout his career playing for the French national team during the period 1987-1995, Cantona scored 20 goals in 45 matches.

5. David Trezeguet

David Trezeguet is an example of ideal target man. He is tall, strong, and has a very good finishing ability. He was a player who had important role in helping France to be the Euro 2000 champions when scored a goal in extra-time in a final match against Italy. At club level, Trezeguet underwent a fairly successful career at Juventus, where he won two Italian league titles and once became the top scorer of Serie A.

4. Jean-Pierre Papin

Papin is a retired striker who was known by his trademark, scoring goals from volley kicks. This player underwent a period of quite brilliant career at Marseille, where he won four Ligue 1 titles and became five-time top scorer of the competition. Papin even won the Ballon d'Or award in 1991 and also two Serie A titles while playing for AC Milan. Together with the French national team, he scored 30 goals from 54 appearances.

3. Just Fontaine

The record of 13 goals made by Just Fontaine in the 1958 World Cup is still yet unmatched. Indeed, during his active period as footballer, Fontaine was known as a prolific striker. He scored 30 goals in a total of 21 appearances for the French national team. Fontaine also played well at the club level, where he won a total of four French league titles. He claimed three titles when he played for Stade Reims and one title when he played for Nice.

2. Michel Platini

Michel Platini is a retired attacker who was also quite often positioned into an attacking midfielder. This player three times won the Ballon d'Or and led the French national team win the Euro 1984. His career at the club level was also quite successful, in which Platini won two Serie A titles, one Champions Cup title, and three years in a row became the top scorer of Serie A. During his career, Platini is known as a reliable free-kick taker.

1. Thierry Henry

If there is a French striker who is considered better than Michel Platini, then he should be Thierry Henry. Not only helping France national team win the World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000, Henry had a very brilliant records when he played for Arsenal in the period 1999-2007. During the eight years of joining "the Gunners," Henry won two Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, and four-time became a Premier League's top scorer.

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