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[Sports] Giroud's record that nobody imagined: late arrival to the national team, zero goals in Russia'18 and blow to Henry


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Olivier Giroud celebra su gol ante Polonia.

The striker became the top scorer in the history of France (52) after opening the scoring against Poland. Lloris reached Thuram with more caps as internationals


Olivier Giroud did not arrive exactly early to the French team. But it arrived, which is what counts. Laurent Blanc, then the French coach, called him for the first time in November 2011, for a friendly against the United States. Three months later, against Germany, he would score his first goal. He was 25 years old, played for Montpellier and few people knew about the essay he planned to write with Les Bleus. Probably not even he would have imagined then that a decade later, now 36 years old, he would be celebrating in a remote stadium in Qatar, the target that makes him the top scorer in the history of France. The goal against Poland served to open the way for his team (3--1) to their third consecutive quarterfinals in a World Cup. [Narration and statistics]

The legendary song from Blur Song 2 (the soundtrack to France's goals in the World Cup) was roaring over the Al Thumama PA system when Giroud showed seven fingers. Five in a left hand and two in the right. With that goal number 52, after an assist from Mbappé and a baroque strike to surprise the Polish goalkeeper Szcezsny, he left the legend Thierry Henry behind. A myth in Paris who left the national team a year before Olivier received

A 1.92-meter-tall, apparently rough guy who is essential for Deschamps' script. And not necessarily because of his goals, despite the fact that he has scored more than anyone with France. Four years ago, at Russia 2018, heading towards the second French crown, Giroud played all seven matches for his team. He was only a substitute in the opening game against Australia (2-1). Of the 14 goals that the French team scored, none carried his signature. Seven afternoons playing with their backs turned so that Antoine Griezmann (4) and Kylian Mbappé (4) could feast. He never cared to work for others. That's why Didier always has you in his thoughts.

In Qatar, the third World Cup of his career, Giroud lives another reality. With the goal scored against Poland, he is one of the top scorers in the championship (3), only surpassed by his teammate Mbappé, who still surpassed his four blows from Russia in the round of 16 and, soon, will take the record for Olivier (he has 33 in 63 games). A curious reality for a guy who until now had only seen the door once in a World Championship. It was against Switzerland, in the group stage of Brazil 2014. Now, at 36, after recovering his sense of smell in Milan (nine goals in 19 games), he enjoys life like an old rocker. The goalkeeper SteveMandanda (37) is the only one older than him.

It was not the only record of the night at Al Thumama, where, according to FIFA, there were 40,982 spectators, despite not giving the feeling of being full. There Hugo Lloris, who also attended Giroud's first days in the French team, equaled the 142 matches of Lilian Thuram. He could not celebrate with a clean sheet because Lewandowski, already at sunset, managed to outwit him with a penalty. Barring a setback, he will leave that record behind next Saturday, under the giant tent of Al Bayt.



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