Henry laughed at him and Arsenal kicked him out, but Giroud made France forget about Benzema and broke Thierry’s record

“Am I getting better with age?” – he repeated the question to reporter Olivier Giroud, with a slight smile on his face and stroking his beard, as if he was really thinking long and hard about his answer. -“Just like fine wine. Many friends tell me that. It’s nice. I feel good physically and I’m motivated to play at the highest level.

I will play as long as my body allows it, because I am a fighter and I enjoy the game of this team immensely. It is a great honor to represent France and I will continue to do so. I don’t know how long. I don’t want to set any boundaries.”

Giroud is now 36 and it has been almost five years since he was sent away by Arsenal. The fans of the “gunners” were not satisfied with his goals, and the club considered him unpromising. One of the club’s legends and his fellow countryman – Thiers Henry, was jokingly explaining from studio to studio how Arsenal cannot become champions with Olivier at the head of the attack.

So they kicked him out of the Emirates, then paid over €60 million to bring in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. They didn’t win the title with him either, and in the end they paid him to leave the club.

Meanwhile, Giroud won the FA Cup for the fourth time, the Europa League and Champions League with Chelsea and Serie A with AC Milan. Oh, yes – he also became a world champion with France.

Not bad stats for a “no-promising” striker who led his country to its first World Cup defense since Brazil in 1962.

Didier Deschamps’ back nine scored France’s first goal in a 3-1 win over Poland in Doha on Tuesday. The Roosters secured a quarter-final clash with England and Giroud became the No. 1 goalscorer in the history of the French national team. The AC Milan striker scored his 52nd goal in his 116th game for France, beating none other than one of his main critics, Thierry Henry.

Photo: Getty Images

It was the perfect way for Giroud to shut the mouths of all the critics who, for the fifth year now, have sneered at him for not contributing anything to France’s 2018 world title, as he failed to score even once in Russia. However, his role at the top of the French attack is far from just scoring goals.

Although he can and shows it in Qatar as well. And his goals, and not only with the national jersey, are more beautiful than beautiful. Against Poland, he could have added another masterpiece to his rich collection, but his scissor-kick goal was disallowed for an unknown reason. So Giroud remains #1 with his 52 goals so far – almost one every two games for the national team. And the reaction of his team-mates when he broke Henry’s record proved what they think of him in the France dressing room, which is the most important thing for Deschamps and every Roosters fan around the world.

It’s as if Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s prediction came out of his mouth and straight into God’s ears. Before the World Cup, his teammate in Milan predicted that Giroud would become not only the top scorer of the World Cup, but also the No. 1 player, the discovery of the tournament and more and more until all the awards are exhausted.

For Ibrahimovic, there is only one answer to every World Cup 2022 question - Olivier Giroud!

“Olivier is a leader and an example for the younger generation,” France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris said of his compatriot. The match against Poland was also a memorable one for him as he equaled the caps for the national team with Lilian Thuram watching live from the stands and his son Markus coming on as a substitute for the final quarter of an hour.

“We have a lot of young guys in the team and he is an example for them,” added Lloris, who spoke more about his teammate’s record than his own. mentally strong in the most important moments and never give up.

And that’s exactly what Olivier has been doing throughout his career, and now it’s paying off. I know Olivier very well and I am sure that he will not be content to stay at 52. He will want to add another goal. Hopefully he will continue to help the team moving forward.”

Giroud has become France’s starting striker since Karim Benzema’s injury in the run-up to the World Cup. Losing the Ballon d’Or winner before the start of the World Cup is a huge loss, but according to some, his absence and the presence of a figure like Giroud has benefited the Roosters.

Without Benzema, who in his file has several unpleasant scandals with his participation in the national team, and Paul Pogba, whose big ego failed to fit even at Old Trafford, France look a more cohesive team. And with Giroud leading the attack, the focus will not fall solely on the central striker, but will give more freedom to Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele on the wings and to Antoine Griezmann, who has taken on the role of something of an attacking playmaker.

With Benzema in their squad, France were ingloriously eliminated in the round of 16 by Switzerland on penalties. Without him, the “Pellas” look confidently to a second consecutive world title. “A breath of fresh air. Playing at the World Cup means freedom for me,” replied Giroud when asked about the difference in the team atmosphere between Euro 2020 and Qatar.

Photo: Getty Images

And this against the background of the accusations against Pogba by his brother Mathias that he used black magic to blackmail his teammates, including Mbappe. There are no such scandals around Giroud. He is much more of a unifying figure, and his achievements since leaving Arsenal prove his immense class.

“He’s a really, really good guy – says Jules Kunde about him. – A great player, a leader and one of the most experienced in this team. He’s always in a good mood, and now he’s even happier because of the record. It’s the fruit of longevity in his career and confidence in his own abilities.”

But for Giroud himself, the record is less important than the collective good.

“It’s time to think ahead and forget about this record because, anyway, a lot of people have concentrated on it – said the striker. – It’s already done, now the important thing is to continue to score and help the team to get as far as possible in the tournament.”

The next goal – the quarter-final against England.

Broken jaw, broken bones, internal bleeding - the most brutal injury of the 2022 World Cup


Related Articles

Back to top button