Olivier Giroud reveals 'great source of pride' after matching Henry's France record

Les Bleus striker's brace in 4-1 win over Australia at the World Cup saw him match Thierry Henry's 51 international goals

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Olivier Giroud joined Thierry Henry as France's all-time leading goalscorer with two goals in France's 4-1 win over Australia on Tuesday as the world champions got their title defence off to a flyer.

Australia took a shock lead at Al Janoub Stadium when Craig Goodwin scored after just nine minutes.

To make matters worse for Les Bleus, left-back Lucas Hernandez was injured in the buildup and had to be helped off the pitch before being substituted with what looked a serious knee injury, which the French football federation confirmed had ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.

However, they recovered to equalise through Adrien Rabiot before Giroud put them ahead with an easy finish in the 32nd minute for his 50th international goal.

Kylian Mbappe got his name on the scoresheet in the second half and Giroud sealed the win to equal Henry's record tally of 51 goals for France.

The win leaves them top of Group D after Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0.

"I don't know if he was thinking about the record, he focuses on what he does on the pitch," said France coach Didier Deschamps.

"He's very effective, it's great for him, he's very useful the way he links up with the team."

France v Australia ratings

At the age of 36, veteran AC Milan striker Giroud, who has 115 caps, is the oldest player to score for France at a World Cup.

Yet he almost certainly would not have been playing here had Karim Benzema been fit.

Instead, the withdrawal of the Ballon d'Or winner with a thigh injury on the eve of the tournament has played into the hands of Giroud, who was a key player for Deschamps in France's triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign but didn't score in Russia.

"On a personal level, I couldn't have hoped for more," Giroud told reporters.

"It's a great source of pride and I don't intend to stop here. I hope to continue in the competition to help the team achieve our goal. Always taking one game at a time, getting stronger."

Updated: November 23, 2022, 4:51 AM
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