From our Special Envoy in Doha,
The bearded man with the impeccable hairstyle and the calm tone of voice pushes us to a matter of conscience. After his double against Australia on Tuesday evening, Olivier Giroud entered the history of French football a little more by equaling the record of Thierry Henry and his 51 pawns in Blue. It’s true what, how to renew yourself when you approach the case of number 9 of the France team, who went from pariah to hero in the space of barely six months? We will leave the comparison with the Phoenix, this mythical bird symbolizing rebirth and immortality in the Greek tradition, to the Intelligentsia of our colleagues from World (we joke of course, we love them) and dare to draw a parallel with a bit more popular culture. Random, The Walking Dead.
Admit that on closer inspection, Giroud has something of the living dead that appeared on our screens eleven years ago. It was in 2011, the same year the AC Milan striker was called up for the first time. Hey, hey… Arrived on tiptoe under the Laurent Blanc era, the one who was then making the heyday of Montpellier has always had a more or less complicated history with the Blues, in particular from a point of his legitimacy in the eyes of the general public and the media. The culmination of this misunderstanding, Euro 2016, when authorized Giroud is whistled by the French public, in his own country, paying there for the decision of the coach not to take Benzema, then entangled in the affair of the sextape by Matthew Valbuena. The guy has nothing to do with it and takes the hit.
Work, humility and closed mouths
And here he is today alongside Thierry Henry at the top of the ranking of the top scorers of the France team. Asked in the mixed zone after the victory against the Socceroos, his friend Hugo Lloris paid tribute to him: “It’s exceptional. Above all, he is an exemplary model because he never gave up. And to find himself at the same height as Thierry Henry is just fantastic for him. Now, what we want him to do is to get ahead of him, for him but above all for the team. The hero of the evening could not avoid stopping in front of the microphones.
So, what does he think of this record? “It is a great pride, an honor to be able to be alongside Titi after these eleven years that I spent in the France team. I measure the progress made, but also the superb teams in which I have been able to improve throughout these years in Blues It is a collective work, I try to finish the work of the guys well and this evening we rather well found, he said humbly. The 51 but? It was a goal that I kept in the back of my mind but it does not inhibit me in the field, I think above all of what I have to do to help the team. My personal case takes second place. And modest with that.
Chronology of a funeral constantly postponed
How many times since 2016 has he not been given for dead? And how many times did he pull his hand out from six feet underground to eat hater? We picked up a few.
2018, already against Australia. We may or may not have forgotten it, but it is in the shoes of a substitute that Gire begins the World Cup in Russia. In one place, Deschamps prefers his favorite Griemzann, surrounded by the marmots Mbappé and Dembélé. Problem, after 70 minutes of an infamous porridge, the account is not there. DD then decides to bring in the control tower, which unlocks the match on one-two with Pogba, who will score a lucky but no less decisive but. After this match, Giroud will never leave the starting lineup again and will be crowned world champion. Without scoring, of course, but not without weighing.
Blacklist after Euro 2021. Asked to stay quietly in his new home near Milan after the failure of Euro 2021 and his crime of lèse-majesté against Kylian Mbappé, Giroud is going through difficult times and helplessly watches the victory of the Bleus de Kyky and KB9 in the League of Nations, even if he repeats that he is at the disposal of the coach if necessary. What happens a few months later, at the rally in March, Benzema is absent with injury. Result: two friendly matches against Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa, two starts and two goals.
This time it’s over… Two months later, he then paid the price for Benzema’s return to the rally in May, the penultimate before the announcement of the list for the World Cup. At the time, we wrote in a paper that “the non-calling of Olivier Giroud for the next four matches of the Blues in the League of Nations almost rings the glass of his participation in the World Cup in Qatar”. Muhahaha!
Just believe, Edgard! At the start of the school year, a few weeks before the departure of the French team in Qatar, and still because of the physical glitches of Nueve de Valdebebas, the Milanese is back in Blue. At the best of times, perhaps, but you still have to prove your usefulness to a DD who only has it for the beautiful eyes of the future Ballon d’Or. Bis result: three games, three starts, three goals. Unplayable.
All alone, at the top, from Saturday?
The sequel on knows her. A summons to the World Cup in a joker role that he accepts without batting an eyelid, but a summons that he didn’t steal from anyone, as he explains to us in the conference even before the announcement of Benzema’s withdrawal: “The France team is a red thread during a career, and to get there you have to be decisive and important in your club. That was the case with Milan, that’s what gave me a lot of confidence. And above all, when I came to the France team recently, I did the job, that’s what allowed me to be here today”.
Asked about him, Benjamin Pavard had only one word in his mouth “Respect”. “Staying at the highest level for so long, always responding even when no one believes in it, it’s beautiful, he continues. He’s there, he scores goals, he’s generous to the team because he’s a great guy. I hope he will continue like this and break new records. “Starting by planting the 52nd but who owed him the only top scorer in tricolor history. And why not on Saturday against Denmark? We take bets.