Olivier Giroud’s hat-trick against Paraguay during a 5-0 rout was France’s first for 17 years, yet the 30-year-old is continually criticised by the media and supporters alike, who bemoan the notable absence left by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema in the squad.
During an interview with L’Equipe ahead of Friday’s important World Cup qualifier against Sweden, the striker discussed a number of topics including his Arsenal future and ignoring the harsh criticism he often receives.
On the absence of his compatriot Benzema, Giroud was quick to try and avoid getting involved.
“I’m not a coach, I do not see what this question is doing here,” he stated.
On his place in the France side constantly being questioned, he revealed it has been the story of his entire career.
“It’s a bit boring, a bit tiresome because I’m doing the job on the pitch… When I feel like I’ve done the job for the team, the rest is not important. Let people talk.”
Olivier Giroud has now netted 26 goals in 62 international caps for France and is keen to overtake one of his favourite players growing up, Jean-Pierre Papin.
Papin, who retired in 2001, netted 30 goals in 54 appearances and is joint fifth on France’s all-time leading goalscorers list behind the likes of Michel Platini and Thierry Henry.
Giroud’s goal ratio is 0.42 on the international scene and he revealed he’s regularly looked at the players in front of him as motivation to keep going.
“I hope to climb even more [in the all-time list]. When I entered the top 10, I always looked at the players in front of me. know how many goals I have to go to overtake one of my favourite players, Jean-Pierre Papin.”
Giroud can overtake Papin within the next week, provided he scores a total of five goals in matches against Sweden and their friendly fixture against England (next Tuesday).
It’s unlikely but not impossible, though he also reaffirmed his desire to win the Premier League trophy with Arsenal when questioned about his future in football.
“It will be necessary to discuss [matters] with the coach,” he revealed.
“He [Arsene Wenger] counts on me, he has confidence in me, even though this season my playing time has been limited. What is certain is that I will not be satisfied with a new season with such weak playing time.”
Giroud’s happiness at Arsenal has been the cause of some speculation in recent months.
With that being said, he’ll be hoping for assurances about regular minutes to further showcase his ability next season regardless of who is acquired this summer otherwise he’s likely to consider a move away.