Zidane, Henry, Vieira, Kante: Who is France's greatest ever player?

Current World Cup holders France really are one of the great footballing nations.

Some of the very best players in history have hailed from the country and the current team is absolutely loaded with superstars.

Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba are just some of the marvellous French footballers lighting up stadiums across the globe in the present day.

But who is the greatest France player in history? Well, that is an incredibly hard question to answer, as there’s just so many iconic figures to pick from.

The folks over at FourFourTwo have provided their answers, though.

They’ve ranked who they believe are the 10 best France players the sport has ever seen and despite winning his fifth Champions League with Real Madrid, Benzema doesn’t make the list.

Only one member of the current squad does…

Zidane, Henry, Desailly & Vieira
PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 26: Former French internationals, (L-R) Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly and Patrick Vieira are introduced to the fans on the field prior to the International Friendly match between France and Brazil at the Stade de France on March 26, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The 10 greatest footballers from France

10. N’Golo Kante

9. Didier Deschamps

8. Franck Ribery

7. Marcel Desailly

6. Lilian Thuram

Lilian Thuram with France
18 Jun 1996: Lilian Thuram of France gives a thumbs up during the European Championship match against Bulgaria at St James” Park in Newcastle, England. France won the match 3-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole/Allsport

5. Eric Cantona

4. Patrick Vieira

3. Michel Platini

2. Thierry Henry

  1. Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane with France
PARIS – MAY 27: Zinedine Zidane of France in action during the international friendly match between France and Mexico at the Stade de France on May 27, 2006 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

It’s hard to argue against Zidane being number one. In the eyes of many, ‘Zizou’ is not just the greatest French player in history, but the greatest midfielder of all.

Kante is the member of the current France setup to make the cut, with Henry, Ribery, Vieira, Thuram and Desailly the others to have graced the sport at some point in the 21st century.

Platini is the only real old-school face on show and the former Juventus man really is a bona fide legend.

Michel Platini with Saint Etienne
IPSWICH, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 18: Michel Platini of St Etienne looks on during the UEFA Cup quarter-final 2nd leg match between Ipswich Town and St Etienne at Portman Road on March 18, 1981 in Ipswich, England. (Photo by Duncan Raban/Allsport/Getty Images)

The silky playmaker scored goals for fun at club level in Italy and with Saint Etienne, while he found the back of the net 41 times in just 72 games at international level.

Overall, FourFourTwo’s ranking is very, very good, although Benzema, Laurent Blanc and Claude Makelele can perhaps feel a tad aggrieved that they were omitted.

In the years to come, one of the members of the current top 10 will likely have to make way for Mbappe…

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