Olivier Giroud capped off a good season where he proved himself at Chelsea, usurping Alvaro Morata as the club’s top striker, and he has now taken that form to the France national team.
He scored the first goal of the game five minutes before the break as France defeated Republic of Ireland 2-0.
It was his 31st goal for the national side, drawing him level with Zinedine Zidane in the all-time goalscoring chart for France. Only three players – Michel Platini, Thierry Henry and Davide Trezeguet – have now scored more.
France boss Didier Deschamps, a former Chelsea midfielder himself, spoke about Giroud’s importance to the side and hailed him as an efficient player who is important to the national team.
“It means that he’s efficient and he has been efficient for years for the French squad,” he said. “It’s what you want from a striker.
“He’s part of a closed circle of players now. He’s been criticised in the past, but his style of play helps the French team tremendously.”