Olivier Giroud is the unlikely hero for France as he leads the line for Didier Deschamps‘ side

Olivier Giroud is the unlikely hero for France as he leads the line for Didier Deschamps‘ side at the World Cup

are brimming with fresh and exciting talent and yet Olivier Giroud has emerged as the unlikely key to their success in . 

With Giroud leading the line against Peru, the French were more comfortable and able to get more from their stars.

It is a remarkable end to a season for the 31-year-old who was forced out of Arsenal, crossed to Chelsea and reclaimed his place in the national team.

‘I‘ve got two assists in the tournament and I‘m very pleased with that because I always try to be efficient and bring something to the team,‘ said Giroud after his fine contribution to the victory against Peru in Ekaterinburg.

Antoine Griezmann was more effective playing off a target man as he does at Atletico Madrid and Kylian Mbappe proved dangerous on the right, imposing his pace and trickery. 

‘He‘s is very hard to defend against,‘ said Giroud on Mbappe. ‘He‘s very fast, he strikes a good shot, he has nice skills, one against one. He‘s a plus for the team.

‘When he plays on the right, like that he has more space and can take advantage of his defender with his pace.

‘He‘s been very important for our offensive game. We have a good understanding with him and Griezy.

‘I‘m very pleased for the team, and even for myself because I know people expected a lot of me coming back into the team. It‘s good that we‘ve shown we are ready.‘

France started sluggishly against Australia when Giroud made an impact from the bench, with a hand in Paul Pogba‘s winner. It was enough to convince Didier Deschamps to start him against Peru and he set up the only goal for Mbappe.

‘We put the right things into this game,‘ said Giroud.

‘With great team cohesion, and very strong at the back. It gave us a lot of pleasure to do the job, and togetherness.

‘Up front we could have scored more. After we needed to be strong but it was nice to win 1-0. We used to say that‘s the best result because it was hard but we got the win and didn‘t concede too many chances.

‘It‘s important to know you can count on a good defence and defensive organisation. We‘ve shown we‘re ready to fight altogether and shown good commitment.

‘So, it‘s nice for the future, even if we want to score more goals, but we stay calm and while we need to enjoy it we still want to finish first in the group.‘

France take on Denmark in Moscow on Tuesday when a point will be enough to clinch top spot in Group C and taken them into the last 16 in Kazan against the runners-up from Group D.

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