Football/French team. Giroud replaces Benzema

Another comeback of which he has the secret. Regularly challenged, the 35-year-old striker (110 caps) continues to shine at the top of the Italian championship, with AC Milan, and still remains a recourse for DD, deprived of the Real Madrid striker, calf hit left.

Asked about European 1 , Giroud assured this week: “I am not talking about the France team in the past tense”. He was right: he will be there for the friendly matches against Côte d’Ivoire, Friday in Marseille, and Tuesday, March 29 in Villeneuve-d’Ascq against South Africa.

“I know very well what Olivier is capable of”

“If the coach calls me, I will answer present as I have always done. That’s why I never officially declared that I wanted to stop the France team. »

It seemed, however, that his adventure in Blue was coming to an end. Disappeared from the starting lineup with the return of the « Benz », after five years of falling out with Deschamps, Giroud had even disappeared from the lists after the Euro.

An unfortunate declaration on passes that did not arrive during a preparation match before the Euro had annoyed Kylian Mbappé and helped to precipitate his decline in the blue hierarchy.

His last selection dated back to the fatal 8and final of Euro-2020 lost in Bucharest against Switzerland (3-3, 5 tab to 4). He came into play at the start of extra time (94and ) in place of Benzema, and had converted his shot on goal.

Since then, DD repeated, like Thursday during the presentation of his list for these African friends, that Giroud « remains, as he knows, obviously selectable and available to the France team ».

For his part, the former player of Montpellier, Arsenal and Chelsea kept the international form. With the « Rossoneri » he scored the decisive goals, such as the double against Inter (2-1) in the « Madonnina » derby or during the shock in Naples (1-0) which reinforced the position of leader of his team.

Giroud even eclipsed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the hearts of the “Milanist” tifosi.

Henry’s record in the viewfinder

“His situation has nothing to do with his chances of becoming Italian champion or not,” explained the French coach. “He scores goals and that’s good for his club. Then I have choices to make. I know very well what Olivier is capable of”.

Given his record and his past in the France team, it was perhaps more difficult to call as a replacement for the 2012 French champion with Montpellier. His best chance to come back could come from a withdrawal from Benzema.

Giroud has always been a pillar of Deschamps, until this summer. From his first at the head of the Blues, in 2012, the former coach of OM made the striker his starting point, alongside Karim Benzema, Franck Ribéry and Mathieu Valbuena.

Apart from injuries, Giroud no longer misses the slightest rally for nine years, until that of September. Deschamps has always defended him against his critics, who remained numerous despite an incredible track record, who accused him of not being as technical as Benzema or Mbappé. Admittedly, the Isérois did not score during the conquest of the World Cup, “but it was very important”, underlined DD. In a pivotal role, Giroud is a grueling opponent for defences.

The always pragmatic Deschamps, who never dismisses anyone definitively, has therefore checked off the name of the winner of the last Champions League with Chelsea on his list, even if he did not play in the final.

Giroud, who is only 5 units away from Thierry Henry’s record (51 goals for the France team), therefore has a new chance to mark the history of the Blues.

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