Giroud has been a late bloomer, who made his international debut at the age of 25 and over the course of 11-year career with Les Bleus, he has amassed 52 goals in 116 games.
France’s 36-year-old striker Olivier Giroud is showing no signs of slowing down as the AC Milan player scored his 52nd international goal on Sunday to become the all-time leading goal-scorer for Les Bleus. Didier Deschamps’ side beat Poland 3-1 at Al Thumama Stadium to enter the quarter-finals of Qatar World Cup courtesy of Giroud’s opener and Kylian Mbappe’s second half brace. The reigning champions are in stunning form, having scored nine goals in their last four games, and are looking poised to become the first team to retain the world title since Brazil in 1962. France’s next opponents are England, who thrashed Senegal 3-0 in the other round of 16 fixture of the day.
𝑆𝑒𝑢𝑙 𝑠𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑜𝑛 𝑡𝑟𝑜̂𝑛𝑒 👑
Ouverture du score des Bleus à la 44e minute !! 😍
Grâce à ce but, @OlivierGiroud devient le 𝙈𝙀𝙄𝙇𝙇𝙀𝙐𝙍 𝘽𝙐𝙏𝙀𝙐𝙍 de l’histoire de l’Équipe de France 🇫🇷
— Equipe de France ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) December 4, 2022
It took 44 minutes for France to break the deadlock against the Eagles. Giroud timed his run to perfection to get on the end of a stunning through ball by Mbappe and slotted home past Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and into the back of the net. The goal helped the former Arsenal-man to get past legendary striker Thierry Henry in the all-time leading goal-scorers list for France. Earlier, he had netted twice in the 4-1 win over Australia in France’s opening fixture of the World cup. Giroud has been a late bloomer, who made his international debut at the age of 25 and over the course of 11-year career with Les Bleus, he has amassed 52 goals in 116 games, eclipsing 51 goals in 123 matches by Henry.
In the last edition of the tournament in Russia, four years ago, the veteran was an unsung hero in France’s triumph as he failed to get on the score-sheet or even register a shot on target. Giroud, along with Antoine Griezmann formed a lethal strike partnership in 2018. The AC Milan man was tall and had the physical prowess to hold the ball, which allowed the likes of Griezmann and Mbappe to play around him. Both Mbappe and Griezmann scored four goals each in the 2018 World Cup. This time around too, the situation is quite similar as Mbappe has already scored five goals to lead the race for golden boot, while Giroud has also joined the party with three scalps to his name.
Giroud is certainly a pivotal figure in the French side and his toughest test will be in their next outing against the Three Lions. It will be interesting to see how he deals with the English centre-backs Harry Maguire and John Stones, who have not conceded a goal in their last three matches. Meanwhile there will be another interesting battle between Kyle Walker and Kylian Mbappe. Walker, who is returning from an injury, did a fine job against Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr on Sunday and will be expected to match toe-to-toe with the Paris Saint-Germain star.