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K. Benzema

Zidane hails Ballon d'Or winner Benzema as the best French striker of all time

6:39 PM GMT 19/10/2022
Karim Benzema France Denmark Nations League
Zinedine Zidane has hailed Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema as the greatest French striker ever after his Ballon d'Or triumph.
  • Zidane used to coach Benzema
  • Both enjoyed huge success with Madrid
  • Striker now recognised as one of the greatest

WHAT HAPPENED? The French striker was awarded the Ballon d'Or earlier this week for the first time in his career having scored 44 goals in 46 games for Real Madrid last season as he led them to success in La Liga and the Champions League.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to the press about his compatriot, Zidane said: "The best striker in the history of French football? Everyone has their favourite player. Some people will tell you it's Jean-Pierre Papin with his exceptional goals, others will talk about Michel Platini.

"For me, it's Karim, yes, because I've been around him and I know what he's worth. In any case, he deserves to be very high. 

"I wish him to continue for a long time to go for records and to shine on the field, with Real Madrid and with the French team. He is capable of going even higher."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Benzema endured a five-year hiatus from the national side and consequently missed out when France won the World Cup in 2018. He has since been reinstated and is fifth on the all-time top scorer list with 37 goals in 97 games.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Thierry Henry leads the way with 51 goals for France, while Zidane managed 31 in 108 appearances and is seventh on the list.

WHAT NEXT FOR BENZEMA? Having won this personal accolade, the 34-year-old will hope to lift the greatest prize of them all in Qatar this winter.