Benzema is injured, thanks to Giroud

DOHA: Karim Benzema’s injury has opened the door for veteran striker Olivier Giroud to lead the French attack at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Benzema entered the prestigious tournament as the most complete striker in the world, while Giroud’s presence initially came as a deep substitute Les Bleus.

However, Ballon d’Or winner Benzema in this World Cup campaign was shattered after he tore a thigh muscle in a training session last Saturday.

With Benzema, 34, ruled out until the end of the tournament, Giroud is expected to switch from the bench to the starting line-up against Australia in Group D tomorrow.

KARIM Benzema had to miss the 2022 World Cup due to injury.

Giroud also has additional motivation to be sent off when he is currently only two goals behind as France’s top scorer under legendary striker Thierry Henry with 51 goals.

“For me it is the best gift to play in this World Cup, I am like a young player appearing in the first World Cup. It will be a bonus to beat Titi’s (Henry) record.

“I am very happy to be a part of this adventure. It is a great source of pride. I am in good shape and my determination to stay at the highest level remains the same,” said Giroud.

At club level, Giroud who is now 36 years old has shown his sharpness with AC Milan this season and has always shown a passion to score goals.

The situation in the French camp also shows another change in fortune between Giroud and Benzema, and this time ‘luck’ is more in favor of Giroud.

Olivier Giroud (left) in a French training session.

Giroud, who performed well at the European Championship (Euro) 2016, is now the main choice to partner with Kylian Mbappe to lead the attack machinery.

They are also the pair that brought Les Bleus to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Soon after, Benzema, whose ‘suspension’ ended, took Giroud’s place in Euro 2020, but last Saturday fate turned in Giroud’s favor after the Real Madrid striker was struck down by injury. – AGENCIES

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