Olivier Giroud vowed to put his record-breaking 52nd France goal behind him after helping Les Bleus advance to the World Cup quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory against Poland.
Giroud equaled Thierry Henry’s goal tally of 51 in France’s World Cup opener against Australia last month, and he went one better by opening the scoring with a tidy finish at the Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday.
Kylian Mbappe then produced two fantastic goals to keep France’s record of advancing from all of their last-16 World Cup matches intact, with this sixth such victory setting up a meeting with either England or Senegal.
When asked about his record-breaking strike by TF1, Giroud just stated that he was relieved to have put an end to speculation about when his historic goal will arrive.
“My wife and children were present, as was a boyhood acquaintance. Beating Thierry Henry like that was a childhood fantasy of mine “Giroud stated.
“Many people warned me about it, but I’ve put that behind me and my obsession is to go as far as possible with the team.
“I was a little irritated that we weren’t able to capitalize on one or two crosses that we made early in the game, so I really wanted to score this goal just to stop talking about it!”
The victory keeps France on track to become the first side to reclaim the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, and Les Bleus have only lost one of their seven knockout games under Didier Deschamps.
France had numerous major player injuries before of the competition, including Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, and N’Golo Kante, and Giroud believes a strong team spirit has helped them overcome.
“The journey continues. We told ourselves in the locker room that in order to have a fantastic time together, we needed to be united and one “Giroud stated.
“We were able to find the appropriate words in the locker room, and it shows on the field because we have a terrific bunch of mates. This team has been recognized for its contributions.”
Adrien Rabiot, a midfielder, agreed, adding: “It makes me happy because you have to leave the field without regret, which is what I aim to do at every match for as long as it lasts.
“Above all, we must emphasize on team camaraderie and unity; that is what makes us strong. If we keep going in this direction, we will be able to do amazing things.”