France captain Hugo Lloris paid tribute to Olivier Giroud, hailing him as an “example of never giving up.”
Giroud got a brace as France opened their World Cup defense with an impressive 4-1 win over Australia, and in the process joined Thierry Henry as Les Bleu’s all-time record goalscorer.
The Milan striker is unlikely to have even started the game had it not been for a pre-tournament injury to Karim Benzema, and Lloris is delighted to see his dogged 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 that’s important. It’s a great achievement to equal Thierry Henry and I hope he will go on. For the whole team it’s a good start and for the striker is two goals great.”
France had to work for the win, especially in the first half when Australia took a surprise early lead.
However, Lloris says the fact that France were able to come back so strongly is a testament to their character.
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“I think we got the credit for a good reaction and we stepped up and started to control the game, he said. “We can be happy with the performance but we know we have to improve game by game.
“The key was to keep cool after going down. 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 a very good step into this World Cup and now we will focus on preparing for Denmark.”
France will face Denmark in their second match before finishing their World Cup group stage against Tunisia.