Graeme Souness blasts ‘lucky’ France all-time highest goalscorer Olivier Giroud
Graeme Souness unleashed a tirade on France striker Olivier Giroud soon after he became joint top goalscorer in his country’s history.
The AC Milan forward scored a magnificent brace in Les Bleus’ 4-1 victory over Australia to draw level with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. Giroud only needs to net one more goal to become France’s leading goalscorer, despite the fact he only made his international debut when he was 25 years old.
He is certainly filling the deep shoes void by Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, who was ruled out of the World Cup through injury, just days before France’s first match. However, Liverpool legend Graeme Souness remains less than impressed with the 36-year-old.
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“I’m not his biggest fan," Souness told ITV. "I’m just not. Seven games in the last World Cup, he’s a centre-forward in the team that wins it, he’s not had a shot on target.
“I think he’s very lucky. When you mention him in the same breath as Thierry Henry, I’m sorry… I would say his record is there for one reason and one reason only: Karim Benzema being out for such a long time, all the controversy he was involved in.
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“Benzema, the current Ballon d’Or winner, will be missed by the French team in this tournament if they go deep. Benzema is on another level [to Giroud], that’s the point I’m making. The goal-scoring record again… Apart from Benzema being out, the other [reason is because of] the amount of games the French team play in all these daft competitions.”
Giroud may not have scored in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph, but his excellent link up play and intelligence certainly helped the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann flourish in Russia. However, Souness is not a man who changes his mind lightly and he will likely remain unimpressed with the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal ace.
“You are smirking, but I just think it’s an anomaly,” Souness said, when asked about his record. “I don’t believe he’s… At 36, fair play to him. He’s still playing in the French team.
“His best season in English football was 16 goals for Arsenal in our league. That’s a marker for anyone.[But] I don’t think he’d get a look-in at this World Cup if Benzema had been here. He’s had a large slice of luck in his career.”
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