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Giroud still baffled by boos from 'pro-Benzema' brigade

Olivier Giroud still struggles to understand why some France fans who apparently favoured the exiled Karim Benzema chose to make him the object of their jeers during Euro 2016.

The Arsenal forward scored three times in the hosts' run to the final, but France were without Benzema as he was under investigation for his part in an alleged plot to blackmail national team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

A vocal section of supporters booed Giroud during the tournament – which climaxed with a drab 1-0 extra-time win for Portugal in Paris – and the 29-year-old was less than impressed by the treatment he received.

"I immediately realised that the people who booed me were not anti-Giroud, but pro-Benzema," he told Le Parisien.

"It could not be otherwise. I came from a great season with Arsenal. It was just disappointing."

Asked if he felt some resentment for being a "collateral victim" of Benzema's circumstances, Giroud added: "Yes, it annoyed me.

"I was not even remotely responsible for this story and I did not understand the kind of hatred that developed against me."

Giroud scored in France's 3-1 friendly victory over Italy at the start of September and will hope to lead the line in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier in Belarus.

He has 21 goals from 56 caps.