Olivier Giroud will be a year older and a year slower by the time the 2020 European Championships roll around in the summer of 2021, but that delay’s not deterring his ambitions nor his intentions to keep leading the line for his country.
He will be nearly 35 by then, but the numbers he has his eyes on are the three caps he needs to get to 100, and Michel Platini’s second place on the all-time goalscoring podium. Giroud’s just 2 behind the former midfield great.
“I want make a mark in the history of French football. I am at 97 caps and I hoped to reach the 100 mark at the March and June friendlies. This is only a postponement. [...] Regarding the number of goals, I am only two off Michel Platini, it is also clearly an objective.”
“I want to be European champions with France next year.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Le Dauphiné Libéré via Goal
Giroud had been pushing to leave Chelsea in January precisely to ensure his spot on the France team for Euro 2020, and while that didn’t happen (and neither did Euro 2020), he was pressed into service due to Tammy Abraham’s injury and proved himself to be quite capable still at the Premier League level. That led to a narrative shift regarding his future at the club, with some reports claiming that he’s already agreed to a one-year extension with Chelsea. That remains unconfirmed as yet.
The delay to 2021 won’t help his national team hopes, especially if he continues to play second fiddle (or third, depending on what Chelsea do in the offseason) to Abraham, but it’s good to be ambitious. He’s proven his doubters wrong before, repeatedly, so why not again?