“I play like I’m 20, with the mentality of a young man”
“There was nothing calculated” in the celebration with Kylian Mbappé after France’s first goal against Poland (3-1) at the World Cup in Qatar. “We were spontaneous, it was a magical moment. Of course it wasn’t the winning goal in a World Cup but all matches are difficult to win and it’s important to score the first goal. It was a great relief.” This was stated by Olivier Giroud who during a press conference returned to his exultation with Mbappé which was much appreciated in France, after the past tensions between the two, especially on the occasion of Euro 2021. “For me, our relationship is always been good. And it shows on the pitch,” added Giroud.
The AC Milan forward, who with his goal against Poland became the record holder for goals for the French national team with 52 goals, overtaking Thierry Henry, underlined that this record “reminds me of all the years that have gone by: 11 in the national team, with good moments and some bad ones. The most important is to set a good example for young people. I arrived in the national team at the age of 24. If it can set an example for those who have an atypical path, I would be very proud of it. You can’t have everything immediately. You always have to believe in your qualities and then you can move mountains,” explained Giroud. “I’m proud to have reached this milestone but I don’t want to stop. This 52nd goal relieves me a lot.”
As for his future, Giroud explained that he “feels very good: I continue to have an interesting level at 36. One day they told me that we are all 20 and the rest is experience. I play as if I were 20 years old, with the mentality of a young man. I’m hungry for competition, goals and winning. My body seems to hold up, I have no limits. I want to show young people that you have to be patient,” the French national striker underlined. Giroud doesn’t comment on who is the best number 9 in the World Cup: “I don’t really know. I can’t say who is the strongest. The strongest winger is Mbappé but for the number 9 I don’t really know”. Meanwhile, Giroud does not comment on a possible victory in the World Cup for France: “we know our qualities but we are focused on England”.