‘My career with Les Bleus might have been better playing with Benzema’

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‘My career with Les Bleus might have been better playing with Benzema’: Olivier Giroud plays down rivalry with fellow French striker despite Real Madrid star’s ‘go-kart’ jibe
Olivier Giroud has played down his rivalry with fellow striker Karim Benzema
The Real Madrid striker has not played for the French national team since 2015
Giroud suggested his Bleus career could have been better alongside Benzema

Olivier Giroud has played down his rivalry with Karim Benzema and suggested that his France career may have been better if he had frequently played with the Real Madrid forward.

Benzema hasn’t played for France for more than five years, while Giroud has featured prominently for Les Bleus, featuring in their World Cup success in 2018.

Giroud’s brace in the recent win against Ukraine means he is now France’s second-highest scorer of all time with 42 goals in 100 games.

‘I’ve always been blamed a little for the absence of Karim in the France team,’ Giroud told TF1.

‘There’s a supposed rivalry, which has been put together from nothing by some people.’

Earlier this year Benzema likened the selection of Giroud ahead of him for Les Bleus to picking a go-kart over a Formula 1 car.

Giroud said: ‘It made me laugh knowing him. I’ve not got a grudge against that.

‘My career with Les Bleus might have been better by being played in conjunction with Karim Benzema, but we’ll never know.’

Benzema’s absence from the France setup is due to an alleged plot to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena.

Giroud’s recent record in front of goal for France is rather impressive – he has scored three goals in three games in 2020, while in 2019 he managed to find the net six times in ten games.

France are back in action on Saturday night as they host Portugal in the Nations League. On Wednesday they will face Croatia away.


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