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Home   /   Data Story: France’s all-time top goal scorers in international football (men’s) by the numbers

Olivier Giroud became France’s all time top scorer during Les Bleus’ run to the 2022 FIFA World Cup final in Qatar.

With his goal in the 44th minute against Poland in the last 16, Giroud overtook French legend Thierry Henry’s tally of 51 goals for his country.

The AC Milan striker achieved the feat in 122 games, one fewer than Henry, who retired from international football after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Both strikers have a near identical goals per match ratio with Giroud netting 0.43 goals per game and Henry chalking up 0.41 goals per game. Giroud has scored a goal for France every 131 minutes and Henry has averaged a goal every 180 minutes.

Below them is Atletico Madrid man Antoine Griezmann with 43 goals from 119 appearances. That equates to a goals per game ratio of 0.36 and a goal every 203 minutes.

Right behind Griezmann is the first of two midfielders on the list in former French skipper Michel Platini. The veteran only played 72 games for Les Bleus, notching up 41 goals in his time and bagged a goal every 154 minutes with a goals per game ratio of 0.57

Platini is followed by Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe who has 38 goals in 68 games, amounting to a goal every 135 minutes at an average of 0.56 goals/per game.

Mbappe recently surpassed the current Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema on the list. Benzema called time on his international career in 2022 after claiming 37 goals in 97 games. The Real Madrid man boasts a goals per game ratio of 0.38 and a goal every 172 minutes.

Behind Benzema is former French forward David Trezeguet with a tally of 34 goals in 71 games. Trezeguet, who won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 UEFA Euro championship, averaged a goal every 122 minutes with a goals per game ratio of 0.48 over the course of his international career.

Hot on Trezeguet’s heels is the second midfielder on this list in Zinedine Zidane, with 31 goals in 108 appearances for France. Zidane is one of six player to play in two FIFA World Cup finals for France and has the lowest goals per game ratio with 0.29 and a goal every 275 minutes.

The list is rounded off by former greats Just Fontaine and Jean-Pierre Papin, both tied on 30 goals each. Fontaine only played 21 games for France and famously scored 13 goals in six games during the 1958 FIFA World Cup and has the highest goals per game ratio with 1.43 and a goal every 63 minutes.

Papin reached the same tally with 54 appearances and an average of 0.56 goals per game and a goal every 143 minutes.

Seven of the ten players on this list have scored for France in the 21st century with Platini, Fontaine and Papin being the exceptions. Only three players, Giroud, Griezmann and Mbappe, are currently eligible for international selection and can increase their existing goal tally.

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May 2024