France 3 – 1
O. Giroud 44'
K. Mbappé 74' 90+1'
R. Lewandowski 90+9' (sp.)
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Olivier Giroud entered the history of the French team a little more this Sunday in Qatar. By opening the scoring against Poland, the tricolor striker became the Blues' top scorer with 52 goals in 117 caps (one more goal than Thierry Henry in six games less than the legend of French football). He also paid tribute to the former French international striker by making a “T” with his fingers after his goal at the very end of the first period (44th). In addition to this statistic, which nevertheless illustrates the importance of the 36-year-old player in the attacking scheme put in place by Didier Deschamps, the Milanese demonstrates match after match that he is essential for the France team, especially when he plays at that level.
“Olivier's record is done and he's not going to stop there” even prophesied Hugo Lloris, the captain of this selection.
Especially since Olivier Giroud could have offered himself a double with a magnificent acrobatic return if the referee of the match, Mr. Jesus Valenzuela, had not whistled a few seconds before for a foul on the Polish goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny. The main interested party also spoke at the microphone of the broadcaster of this round of 16 on the new record he broke against Poland.
“There is my wife, my children who are there, plus my childhood friends so it's great, it's a childhood dream to be able to beat Titi. Now it's done, a lot of people told me 'come on, it's going to come'. Now I put that behind me, my obsession is to go as far as possible. I gave him a little wink after the goal. It is an immense pride to be able to be in front of him. I hope to continue to put some to help the team to go further in the competition” first confirmed the number 9 tricolor. A model of resilience
The titular pivot in the absence of Karim Benzema proved that he was much more than a luxury substitute and that he could help the French team to retain their title of World Champion. Despite a timid start to the game where he had some difficulty entering his match, Olivier Giroud showed an extraordinary capacity for resilience not to give up and even raise his head.
“I was a little frustrated not to have been able to concretize on one or two crosses that he had made at the start of the match and what is more on that of Ouss (Dembélé, editor's note) where he is therefore offside I really wanted to be able to put this goal and talk about it more. It's great for us, he thinks I'm good and it's just happiness”indeed entrusted the tricolor striker on the sidelines of the meeting. Words that confirm his very special ability to never let go and to multiply his efforts both defensively and offensively with this desire to help the French team and his teammates.
Jules Koundé, the defender of the Blues, also wished to send his congratulations to Olivier Giroud in the mixed zone when the latter did not have the most obvious career with the France team and always suffered from a certain disenchantment of tricolor supporters.
“It's beautiful, it represents a lot of things, longevity, a lot of work, abnegation. We know it hasn't always been easy for him, but each time he demonstrates, he is decisive and he works above all for the team. He is one of the oldest and leaders of this group so we are very happy for him in the same way that we are very happy for Hugo (Lloris) »particularly wanted to recall the Barcelonan. It is also not the player of the France team to have been impressed by the longevity and the resilience of the native of Chambéry.
Indeed, the same goes for Adrien Rabiot, totally captivated by his teammate:
“It's incredible what he's been going through since the start. We were waiting for him in the locker room to celebrate, unfortunately, he was at the anti-doping control. We are all really aware that it's incredible, it's great, it's a really humble person working. Of course, we will celebrate it at the hotel. Already, we are going to see the welcome we are given. But of course, we are going to celebrate between us, the staff and also Hugo (Lloris, who equaled the record of selections). They are two important players who have had a lot of experience and who deserve it.” Beautiful statements that confirm the new status and the course taken by Olivier Giroud. They also make it possible to certify that the group lives well and that the atmosphere between the players is particularly good. A good omen for the rest of the competition.