Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud scored France’s opening goal against Poland at the 2022 World Cup to become his nation’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Giroud, 36, has now scored 52 international goals in 116 appearances for France. The record was previously held by Thierry Henry, who scored 51 goals in 123 games.
Giroud had already scored twice in this tournament with his brace against Australia, which made his tally 51 goals – tied with fellow World Cup winner Henry.
After the goals against the Socceroos, the 36-year-old forward said it means a lot to be alongside Thierry Henry as France’s top goalscorers. He told the media:
Personally, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be next to Thierry now. It is an unbelievable feeling – and we couldn’t have hoped for a better start at the World Cup. But I aim to play football for as long as my body will allow me. I am a competitor. I am still very passionate and I still have all of my hunger. As long as I feel good I will do my best for the team to reach our target. I feel very good. Some of my friends have told me I’m like a fine wine.
At the last World Cup, Giroud played 546 minutes of football en route to France’s triumph without actually finding the net himself.
There was doubt over whether he would even make the squad for Qatar considering coach Didier Deschamps had left him out of his side for last summer’s European Championships.
However, a last-minute injury to Karim Benzema meant Giroud was reintegrated into the fold.