OLIVIER GIROUD pulled himself into the window with another double for France.
And his goals against Sweden last night mean he has just seven goals left behind Thierry Henry’s record.
French manager Didier Deschamps warned last week that Giroud will have to play regular club football or risk losing his place in the national team before the reorganized Euros.
Deschamps said: “The situation he has in his club, knowing that he has a wide frame and that he needs rhythm, it’s tough.
“That’s not why I want to lose him, it’s complicated, we’ll talk about it. But obviously he has every interest in it not lasting and remaining competitive – we must not forget what he did with us and what he is still capable of. make. ”
With just 33 minutes of Premier League action for Chelsea so far this season, those comments have sparked transfer exit rumors.
He came close to joining Tottenham in January but stayed at Stamford Bridge before the arrival of Timo Werner pushed him further down the pecking order as Inter Milan contemplate a blow.
But Giroud, 34, let his football do the talking and proved he still has a lot to offer by slamming in pairs during the Nations League clash.
After Viktor Claesson’s deflected strike gave the visitors a surprise fourth-minute lead at the Stade de France, the veteran striker regained his country’s level 12 minutes later, returning Marcus Thuram’s cross.
Benjamin Pavard’s goal allowed France to lead into the break before Giroud wasted a glorious chance to make three by heading wide.
He didn’t have to wait long to get his second, however, as he met Kylian Mbappe’s ball with a spectacular diving header on time.
This allowed the former Arsenal player to score 44 international goals in his 105th cap – an almost identical strike rate to Henry who managed 51 in 123 for Les Bleus.
And it also saw Giroud finish the calendar year as France’s top scorer for the fifth time in the past six years – only being beaten in 2018, World Cup winner.
Robin Quaison pulled one off for Sweden in the 88th minute, but Kingsley Coman closed the scoring at the counter in added time when Sweden sent everyone ahead for a corner kick, including the goalkeeper.
Deschamps’ team had already propelled defending champions Portugal to the top of Group 3 of League A.
Spain also booked their place in the Nations League semi-finals with a 6-0 beating against Germany.
Belgium and Denmark face off tonight to finish first in Group 2 while Italy know victory in Bosnia will secure their place – but losing the Azzurri would pave the way for the Netherlands or Poland for the exceed.
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