Hugo Lloris has hailed teammate Olivier Giroud after he went level with Thierry Henry’s as France’s all-time top goal scorer.
The 36-year-old has now scored 51 goals for his country and can surpass Henry’s record in Les Bleus’ next match against Denmark on Saturday.
While the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker is well-respected, he has never been held in the same light as many of the world’s other great forwards, and heading into Qatar he had lost his place in Didier Deschamps’ team to rival Karim Benzema.
But with the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner injured for the World Cup, Giroud has returned to action and instantly proved his worth.
‘I think Olivier deserved a lot of credit,’ Tottenham goalkeeper and France skipper Lloris told the BBC post-match.
‘He is an example of football to never give up. The last few months he was in and he was out but he never lost focus and it is important.
‘It is a big achievement to equal Thierry Henry and I hope he will go ahead. For all the team it is a good start and for the striker two goals is great.’
France are one of the tournament favourites though there were concerns over their title defence with many key players out injured and the fear of ‘champions curse’.
While not a perfect performance, the win over Australia will have significantly calmed their nerves, with Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot also getting on the scoresheet.
‘The key was to stay cool after going behind,’ Lloris added.
‘We have a lot of young players but we have some with experience so we have a good mix and we can feel it on the pitch. It is one very good step into this World Cup and now we are going to focus on preparing for Denmark.’
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