Second oldest French player in the World Cup: Olivier Giroud is 20

The second oldest French player in the World Cup

At 36, the new French goal record holder Olivier Giroud is apparently far from thinking of retiring. « I feel very good and at a good level, » the AC Milan striker said in Qatar on Tuesday. He continued: « I was once told that we were all 20, the rest is experience. I really play like I’m 20. With the joy of a child. I’m hungry goals and my body seems to be taking it.” At 36 years, two months and four days, Giroud is the second oldest Frenchman to have played in a World Cup.

Thanks to three tournament goals at the World Cup, Giroud replaced former world-class striker Thierry Henry with 52 goals in the national jersey as the reigning champions’ top scorer. And this after an atypical career during which he also had to take a lot of criticism and even ridicule. « I only joined the national team when I was 25, » stressed Giroud, who said: « If I can be an example for those who have an atypical background, that would make me proud. In any case, my example shows young people that in a career you have to be patient.

Giroud now sole leader: France’s top scorers

9. Jean-Pierre Papin | 30 goals in 54 games

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1986–1995 (as of December 4, 2022)

9. Fair Fountain | 30 goals in 21 games

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7. Zinedine Zidane | 31 goals in 108 games

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7. Kylian Mbappé I 31 goals in 61 games

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since 2017

6. David Trezeguet | 34 goals in 71 games

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5. Karim Benzema | 37 goals in 97 games

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since 2007

4. Michel Platini | 41 goals in 72 games

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3. Antoine Griezmann | 42 goals in 112 games

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since 2014

2. Thierry Henry | 51 goals in 123 games

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1.Olivier Giroud | 52 goals in 117 games

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since 2011

However, that doesn’t apply to his friendly attacking partner Kylian Mbappé, who has already scored five times in Qatar. « He’s the best striker I’ve ever played with, » Giroud said of the PSG pro, who is the most valuable player in the World Cup final with a market value of €160m. . And further: « And it’s scary, but he can still improve. He’s still young. I think we haven’t seen his best yet. He can break all records. I know he will definitely break mine.

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