Olivier Giroud Defends Goalless World Cup As He Targets 100 Caps For France

Olivier Giroud was substituted in France's 0-0 Nations League draw with Germany

Olivier Giroud has stated he helped play a key role in France’s World Cup success despite failing to net a single goal during his time in Russia this summer.

The Chelsea striker featured in every France game in the run to the final win against Croatia, featuring as their main front man for much of the tournament.

Having failed to score in the Nations League stalemate with Germany on Thursday and in a pre-World Cup friendly with the United States, Giroud’s goal drought at international level now stands at just over nine hours.

Including his 69 minutes of Chelsea action this season, his goal drought in total stands at 623 minutes spanning 12 games since he netted in a 2-0 friendly win over Republic of Ireland in May.

But a lack of goals is not concerning Giroud, who was content with his overall contribution for his country during the summer.

‘It necessarily results in a little frustration,’ Giroud told Le Parisien. ‘But it has largely been filled by the title. The collective takes precedence over individuals.

‘I often had to do a little bit of different work, make sacrifices to help the team hold the lead. In fact, you have less energy to be decisive in the last third.

Despite failing to score, Giroud says he is happy with his role in France's World Cup win

‘Except against Belgium in the second half, I do not have the memory of having missed many opportunities. I even produced two assists.

‘My zero goals does not stop me from sleeping. In the street people tell me: even if you have not scored, you have been important.

‘We might not have been world champions if I scored. Statistics can be used for anything and everything. I was decisive in another way.’

Giroud turns 32 at the end of the September and he claims that although the end of his career is closing in, he still has no plans to retire.

With 31 goals from 82 caps, Giroud is instead focused on reaching goals and appearances targets with his country.

‘A team-mate at Chelsea already asked me this question,’ Giroud added. ‘As long as I feel good, can bring something to the team and the coach calls me, I am available.

‘I am aware of being closer to the end than the beginning. So I enjoy every moment. I do not put myself any barrier, I do not set any limit.

‘It would be a nice figure [100 caps], but before, I would like to rise to among the top three scorers in the history of Les Bleus. For now, I share fourth place with Zizou [Zinedine Zidane] three only behind [David] Trezeguet.

‘This podium, it would also be a way to mark the story, even if boys like Antoine and Kylian will exceed me.’

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