France captain Hugo Lloris paid tribute to Olivier Giroud, hailing him as an ‘example to never give up.’
Giroud bagged himself a brace as France opened their World Cup defence with an impressive 4-1 win over Australia, and in the process joined Thierry Henry as Les Bleus’ all-time record goalscorer.
The Milan striker would likely have not even started the game had it not been for a pre-tournament injury to Karim Benzema, and Lloris is happy to see his enduring persistence rewarded.
“I think Olivier Giroud deserved a lot of credit,” Lloris said after the match. “He is an example of football to never give up.
“The last few months he was in and he was out but he never lost focus and it is important. It is a big achievement to equal Thierry Henry and I hope he will go ahead. For all the team it is a good start and for the striker two goals is great.”
France were made to work for the win, especially in the first half when Australia took a surprise early lead.
Lloris, though, says the fact France were able to come back so strongly is testament to their character.
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“I think we have got the credit of a good reaction and we stepped up and started to control the game, he said. “We can be pleased with the performance but we know we have to improve game by game.
“The key was to stay cool after going behind. We have a lot of young players but we have some with experience so we have a good mix and we can feel it on the pitch.
“It is one very good step into this World Cup and now we are going to focus on preparing for Denmark.”
France will face Denmark in their second game before ending the World Cup group stage against Tunisia.