Giroud still aiming to make history with France despite Euro 2020 delay blow

The Chelsea striker is dreaming of winning 100 caps for his country and passing Michel Platini’s international goalscoring record

Olivier Giroud is still aiming to represent France at Euro 2020 and reach some personal milestones in international football, despite the tournament having been delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 33-year-old had a mixed season with Chelsea, having struggled for minutes in the first half of the campaign before breaking into the first team from January onwards, only for his efforts to be curtailed by the outbreak of Covid-19.

The lack of appearances at club level meant Giroud’s place in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the European Championships was under threat, before the tournament was put back to the summer of 2021 because of coronavirus.

Giroud had intended to retire from international football ater representing France this summer, but says he will stay on to try and play in 2021, with two major personal targets very much in sight for the former Montpellier and Arsenal front man.

He has made 97 appearances for France and scored 39 goals. His strike tally is just two behind Michel Platini, and while the all-time record of 50 – held by Thierry Henry – is surely out of reach for Giroud, he feels he can surpass the Euro 84 winner and also reach a century of international caps.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, the 2018 World Cup winner said: “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.”

Giroud failed to score at the World Cup in Russia, however his hold-up play and unselfish style allowed those around him, including Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, to shine as France won their second world crown and their first on foreign soil.

He also played in the French side that reached the final of Euro 2016, however in front of a home crowd in Paris, Giroud and his team-mates suffered major disappointment as they were beaten 1-0 by Portugal after extra time.

Giroud’s future at club level is uncertain too, with the striker’s contract at Chelsea set to expire in the summer of 2021.