With France set to feature in a blockbuster World Cup quarter-final matchup against England on Saturday, here is a look back at Les Blues’ top scorers in the history of the men’s soccer team.
Olivier Giroud (52 goals)
Going into Qatar 2022, Olivier Giroud was two goals shy of Thierry Henry’s record for France. After finishing top of Group D and progressing to the tournament’s last eight, the 36-year-old has now surpassed Henry’s total. Giroud struck twice in France’s opener against Australia in a 4-1 victory before scoring France’s third against Poland in a routine 3-1 win, meaning his side go on to play England in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Giroud is tipped to get in on the action in England vs France betting odds, boasting odds of 6/1 to register at least one shot on target in each half. As holders of the coveted international trophy, France are favorites in that match, with Giroud likely to be involved either as a direct threat or from further back in the attack. He has proven to be a crucial link with France’s clinical offensive line, which has so far scored nine goals in Qatar, as Didier Deschamps will be hoping his side can score a few more against England.
OLIVIER GIROUD BECOMES FRANCE’S ALL-TIME TOP SCORER (52) 🎨 pic.twitter.com/PCX6fEa8TF
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 4, 2022
Thierry Henry (51 goals)
As mentioned, Giroud wasn’t always France’s leading man up top. Thierry Henry’s 51 goals across a national career spanning from 1997 to 2010 were his national side’s record for many years. The 45-year-old made a staggering 123 caps for Les Blues throughout his career, in which he played a whopping 17 World Cup matches. Perhaps Henry’s most memorable contribution in front of the goal came in a 1-0 quarter-final win over Brazil in 2006, a tournament in which France ended as runners-up.
After his playing career with his own national team, Henry went on to manage neighbors Belgium between 2016 and 2018 before coming back in 2021 for a second stint. However, even with Henry’s experience on the sidelines, the Red Devils were unable to progress beyond the World Cup group stages in Qatar. They finished third in Group F behind Croatia and Morocco, both of whom went on to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Thierry Henry, France ’98. pic.twitter.com/uSSPbpJoQe
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) July 5, 2021
Antoine Griezmann (42 goals)
With France’s two leading men way out in front, the next in line is a much tighter affair. While Michel Platini is widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game, he sits in fourth on 41 goals. Antoine Griezmann, meanwhile, is one better with 42, meaning he is third in France’s all-time leading scorers, a total he may well better in Saturday’s match against England.
Even without a goal against Gareth Southgate’s side, Griezmann has enjoyed an impressive World Cup campaign in Qatar. He has consistently pulled the strings in a deeper position back in France’s midfield and is sure to make his 109th cap in the last-eight matchup against the Three Lions. Griezmann’s impressive form at the international level matches his staggering 234 goals in 618 club appearances for Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona, as the 31-year-old is likely to go down as one of soccer’s most underrated players.
The show goes on for Griezmann and France!
Phenomenal game, Grizi 👏 pic.twitter.com/rvYpNQfD8s
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) December 4, 2022
With both Giroud and Griezmann still fundamental aspects in Deschamps’ side, France will be hoping to progress beyond the last eight and into the semi-finals as they go in defense of their world title in Qatar.