Defending champions France displayed strength on Sunday evening when they qualified for the quarter-finals. In their 3-1 defeat of Poland, Les Bleus bounced back from their loss to Tunisia in style. For most of the game, they dominated their opponent, maintaining the most possession of the ball while scoring in each half.
France levelled the World Cup record between them and Poland to one win each, but that was not the only record that was made in the game. If you want to know about Can Japan Stun Croatia?, click here.
Giroud passes Thierry Henry
Credits: RTHK News
Coming into the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Olivier Giroud was not considered the first option for France. He only got assigned more minutes after the pre-tournament injury to Karim Benzema. At the last World Cup, when France won the trophy, Giroud played all the games in Russia, but in 546 minutes of action, he failed to score a single goal.
After his tenure in the English Premier League, some may have felt that Giroud was in the twilight of his career with his best years behind him, but after moving to Italy, he scored 11 goals to help Milan win the Serie A title. At the Qatar World Cup, Giroud is among the top scorers behind teammate Kylian Mbappe; the duo has scored eight of the nine French goals.
Giroud, who scored the first goal for Les Bleus against Poland, did not just break the deadlock; it broke a record, too, as he matched one that had been considered untouchable for years. That strike at the 44th was his 52nd for France, the most by any French player ever.
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The record previously held by celebrated forward Thierry Henry had been coveted by many. Still, it was Olivier Giroud who had been counted out on many occasions and finally clinched the all-time spot for France.
Kylian Mbappe passes Ronaldo and ties Messi
On the same evening Giroud broke Thierry Henry’s record, Mbappe had his fair share of the spotlight. After assisting Giroud’s goal, Mbappe scored 32nd for the French side in the 74th minute. His last goal in the stoppage time sealed the deal for Les Bleus and put him past Cristiano Ronaldo in all-time World Cup goals.
Tied with Messi at nine goals, Mbappe has already overtaken Argentina’s Diego Maradona, who scored eight. At 23 years of age, Mbappe is the youngest player to score nine World Cup goals, breaking the record held by Eusebio, who scored eight for Portugal by the age of 24 years and 182 days.
Moving into the quarter-finals, how much further can Giroud go on that list? Can Mbappe get closer to him on that list?