Having scored a brace in France’s 4-1 win over Australia, as Les Bleus opened their defence of the world title in Qatar, Olivier Giroud broke a nine game World Cup streak without a shot on target.
Giroud, now 36, equalled Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals at the top of France’s all-time goalscoring charts against the Socceroos in Qatar but he hadn’t scored at a World Cup since a 5-2 win over Switzerland in 2014 as Brazil hosted the tournament. For Giroud, that was 11 games World Cup games ago.
Giroud famously went through the entirety of the 2018 tournament, which France won, as France’s lead striker but without scoring a goal or even having a shot on target. The AC Milan forward also featured in France’s quarter-final loss to Germany in Brazil 2014 and the second round win over Nigeria but neither game saw Giroud score or have a shot on target either.
His last World Cup shot on target was in the final group game that year during a 0-0 draw with Ecuador, eight years ago. That means, before his first half strike against Australia in Qatar, Giroud had gone over nine games without a shot on target at World Cup and over ten games without a goal.
However, Giroud will aim to become France’s sole leading goal scorer in upcoming Group D games with Denmark and Tunisia with his 52nd international goal.