World Cup 2022 - Olivier Giroud, 51 goals like Thierry Henry, always believed in him
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World Cup 2022 – Olivier Giroud, 51 goals like Thierry Henry, always believed in him

It is a story that has been told hundreds of times. Or, if you think we’re exaggerating, at least fifty-one times. With every goal, every roar of joy from the person involved, we thought Olivier Giroud was a special player, a striker like no other. Because he did not follow the same path as the footballers who reached this height; On the day he celebrated his 25th birthday, the France squad was no longer a mirage. But it’s still a somewhat distant hope.

On the evening of the premiere, against the United States, FIFA would not have given the keys to the 22nd World Cup in Qatar’s history. Twelve years later, in the heart of the gas state, Jerrod has reached a mark no one would have imagined for him. Maybe it’s true? One thing is for sure, the Montpellier striker believed in him.

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For twelve years, from his first goal in Germany, on 29 February 2012, to that brace against Australia, Olivier Giroud has shared his life with skeptics, with the sporadic but exacerbated competition of Karim Benzema. There will only be one place out of the two. What the Milan striker understood very quickly. But what he never gave in to. And this is from Euro 2012, his first competition in the blue jersey.

Benzema or him

The two occasionally played together, but without success or agreement notable and notable enough to stabilize the duo. And then Karim Benzema disappeared from circulation, part of the public for a while and, strangely and unfairly, blamed Olivier Giroud. The number 9 didn’t make much of him, too busy piling goals and getting close from the heights, even winning the 2018 World Cup during a tournament that paradoxically ended with a zero point.

Then Benzema came back, telling Giroud to make way. In the starting lineup, during the Euro. In the group after the euro. After that, “Olive” left through the door, and returned through the window. At a time when no one really believed in it. Except him. Still and always.

He was right, once again, to hold on, to give Didier Deschamps the undertakings he’d been waiting for. Because DD had doubts about his ability to live in Karim Benzema’s shadow and sit on the bench. You know the rest. fifty. fifty one. And here he is linked with Thierry Henry, at the same stage of his international career as the former number 12 in the tricolor (note: like Henry, Giroud has scored 51 times in 115 selections).

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“It is a great honor to be able to equal Tite, a legend of French footballI confess on Tuesday in the TF1 microphone. This honor. I hope I don’t stop there. I still hope to help my partners during the competition to finish well. It was really a perfect evening for me, but especially for the team.”

Didier Deschamps, who has kept him under pressure in recent months, can only salute the striker’s achievement: “Beyond the record, there is above all what he does on the pitch, which he has always done. He was efficient, and that was much the better for him. Above all, this is an important asset in the attacking animation compared to the whole group (. ..) It’s good that he got out, in addition to the encouragement from the French fans. This was not always the case. It is impossible to imagine anything else today.

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