It’s a coaches’ job to big up their players and give them confidence, but this is a massive shout from Zinedine Zidane.
In fairness if there’s anyone who’s in a position to talk about the best French players of all time then Zidane is the man, but he’s just declared that Karim Benzema is the best French striker of all time.
? Zidane: “Benzema es el mejor delantero francés de la historia”.
— DIRECTV Sports (@DIRECTVSports) December 15, 2020
Benzema is weirdly underrated because he’s usually dwarfed by a bigger name in the Real Madrid line up, while he’s probably not appreciated so much in France because he doesn’t play for the national team due to a few legal issues.
His case could also be hurt by France winning the world cup without him, but he’s bailed Zidane out on so many occasions that it’s easy to see why he would say this about his striker.
It’s almost impossible to compare players from different eras because football has evolved so much over the years, while the definition of a striker has changed over the years so you have to bring various forwards into the conversation.
Just to give you an idea of the company that Benzema is in for this, here’s a list of some magnificent forwards that France have produced over the years:
Just Fontaine, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Eric Cantona, Kylian Mbappe, Jean-Pierre Papin, Antoine Griezmann and of course you need to throw Olivier Giroud in there just because of Benzema’s comments about him.
You could even include legends like Michel Platini and Raymond Kopa although they did play in a slightly more withdrawn role, but it shows you the amount of world-class forward thinking players the country have produced.
Benzema is absolutely part of the conversation and his consistency over the past decade has been up there with the best in the game, but at least this goes to show just how much Zidane loves Karim Benzema.