France boss Didier Deschamps has defended World Cup winner Olivier Giroud who he feels has been treated “unfairly”.
Giroud was part of Deschamps’ triumphant team which lifted the World Cup in Russia last summer.
Are people too harsh on Giroud? Five things you need to know…
- Olivier Giroud has scored 34 goals in 88 games for France, an average of a goal every 2.58 games.
- However, his stint at Chelsea has seen him struggle, scoring just 15 in 52 outings, an average of 3.46 games per goal.
- Giroud failed to score for France at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, providing just one assist.
- The 32-year-old scored his 34th goal for his country in France’s 4-1 win over Moldova on Friday.
- Having scored just once in 21 appearances in the Premier League this season, Giroud has nine goals in as many games in the Europa League.
Les Bleus manager Deschamps has discussed his continuous support and dedication to playing Giroud at the front of the France attack.
Speaking to reporters, Deschamps believes Giroud is harshly judged by some, with people forgetting the goal contributions he has had throughout the entirety of his career.
Deschamps said: “The counter is increasing, it is there.
“He is less used by his club but when he plays in the Europa League, he also scores. His pivotal presence is very useful to the team. So much the better that he scored.
“This is an important figure [of 34 goals], which he continues. He comes back from a difficult time, he is an unfairly decried player.
“But his goals, it is necessary to put them at the high level and over the duration, it is not nothing. As long as I select him and he plays, he can get closer [to Michel Platini’s total]. I’m not here to help him.
“When he is on the field, he continues to score. He is always there with this desire and this freshness, he must keep that.”
Giroud confirms international retirement plans
France defeated lowly Moldova in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier with Giroud scoring the third goal of the night and his third goal since lifting the World Cup.
Moving level on international goals for France with striking great David Trezeguet, Giroud is now the third-highest goalscoring for the two-time world champions, behind just Michel Platini (41) and Thierry Henry (51).
At the age of 32, there are still a few years left in Giroud to at least compete to overtake the total secured by Platini. With France expected to qualify for next year’s European Championships, the former Arsenal striker may have one last opportunity to produce his goalscoring exploits on the big stage – admitting he will retire from international football after the tournament.
“EURO 2020 will be my final adventure with France,” he said.
“After that, I will have to make way. Then, Kylian Mbappé will become the legitimate number nine of the French national team.”
Thirty-four international goals, a career with two of England’s biggest clubs, and a World Cup trophy? Giroud probably doesn’t care too much for criticism.