Chelsea striker defends 'goalless World Cup show'

World Cup 2018 By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 06/09/2018

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has defended his goalless World Cup outing with France, claiming he was decisive in another way in helping Les Bleu to the title in Russia.

Giroud was a regular player under coach Didier Deschamps as he contributed immensely in bringing out the best in Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe during the tournament.

Mbappe scored four goals in the tournament, But the former Arsenal striker says winning the title has made up for his goal drought in the World Cup.

"It necessarily results in a little frustration," Giroud told Le Parisien. "But it has largely been filled by the title. The collective takes precedence over individuals.

"I often had to do a little bit of different work, make sacrifices to help the team hold the lead. In fact, you have less energy to be decisive in the last third.

"Except against Belgium in the second half, I do not have the memory of having missed many opportunities. I even produced two assists.

"My zero goals does not stop me from sleeping. In the street people tell me: even if you have not scored, you have been important.

"We might not have been world champions if I scored. Statistics can be used for anything and everything. I was decisive in another way.

Giroud,32, has made 80 caps for France and he is not set to take his goal tally beyond 31 for France.

"A team-mate at Chelsea already asked me this question," Giroud said of quitting France duty. "As long as I feel good, can bring something to the team and the coach calls me, I am available.

"I am aware of being closer to the end than the beginning. So I enjoy every moment. I do not put myself any barrier, I do not set any limit.

"It would be a nice figure [100 caps], but before, I would like to rise to among the top three scorers in the history of Les Bleus. For now, I share fourth place with Zizou [Zinedine Zidane] three only behind [David] Trezeguet.

"This podium, it would also be a way to mark the story, even if boys like Antoine and Kylian will exceed me."