Olivier Giroud continues to be decisive for club and country at the age of 37, and the numbers that he has racked up are reflective of an illustrious career.
As La Gazzetta dello Sport (see photo below) recall this morning, Giroud is 10 goals ahead of Kylian Mbappe in the France rankings. Coming on midway through the second half against Gibraltar, he scored with his left foot in the 89th minute and with an overhead kick in added time as Les Bleus routed Gibraltar 14-0.
His tally of goals for the national team thus rose to 56, five more than Thierry Henry (who by now has withdrawn from the race) and 10 more than Mbappé, who has just reached the podium. It is Giroud – and not Trezeguet or Benzema or even Platini – who represents France in the ranking of the best scorers in the country’s history.
Considering the top 10 national teams in the current FIFA rankings, Giroud is behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lional Messi in number of appearances. With him the flag of France flies higher than that of the Netherlands, Spain and yes, Italy.
In terms of goals scored Giroud is ahead of Van Persie, Suker and our Riva. At the table of the greatest strikers in the world, the former Arsenal and Chelsea man sits with Messi, Ronaldo, Kane, Neymar, Lukaku and David Villa.
The most recent goals in the book are those against Gibraltar, while his first was against Germany in 2012. Among the scorers on Saturday was Zaire-Emery who is 17 years old, 20 years younger than Giroud.
The youngest player in the national team was born on 8 March 2006 when Giroud was already a professional with Grenoble. His consistency is also impressive at clubs: 277 goals scored, 222 since 2010 when he made his debut in the top flight with Montpellier.
His first goal came in February 2007 (for Grenoble), his most recent on 11 November 2023 in Lecce-Milan with which he hoped to celebrate the milestone of the first 100 Rossoneri appearances with a win, but got sent off.
Having arrived to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s reserve or stunt double, he found himself the leading actor. He has 40 goals for Milan, almost one every two matches, but he will not be there against Fiorentina and Frosinone due to his ban. Against Dortmund in the Champions League, he will be there.
Milan signed Giroud for €1m from Chelsea and those who thought that Olivier’s story was over when he arrived had to think again: he added new chapters, among the most exciting that of the Scudetto, with his signature on many of the decisive goals, and the scoring record achieved with France.