Olivier Giroud says he’s hoping he can help France write a new chapter in their football history as they prepare for Thursday’s crunch EURO 2016 semi-final showdown with Germany.
Les Bleus haven’t beaten their continental neighbours in a competitive match since 1958 and head to the Stade Velodrome looking to avenge their quarter-final defeat at the 2014 World Cup, as well as historic semi-final losses in the same tournament in 1982 and 1986.
Full of confidence following his brace against Iceland – he now has three goals and two assists – Giroud admitted France have a tough task ahead but called on his compatriots to give them their full backing.
“We’re going to savour this victory,” said the 29-year-old. “We have a big match against the world champions. I’m pleased, nothing more than that. Pleased for the team, my family and the French public.
“We had a lot of fun and are very pleased with our performance. We will try and erase some of the defensive mistakes because against Germany we will be punished.
“Confident? No, Germany are the world champions and will be favourites but we want to write another chapter in the history of French football.
“We have a lot of desire to try and get our own back for what happened in the world cup. We beat them here in a friendly match, winning 2-0, but it will be completely different in Marseille.
“I hope the French public are as excitable in the stadium as they were tonight, and they support us all the way. We play a Euros semi-final in front of a home crowd. I’m proud of what we’re achieving. I hope we come out with the right result once again.”
It’s fair to say the French are getting increasingly excited at the prospect of a first major trophy since their triumph at the Euros in 2000.
Giroud, embraced by teammates, graces the cover of this morning’s L’Equipe under the headline ‘Almost Perfect’ – a far cry from the negativity the team – and Giroud in particular – had to bat off pre-tournament.