I was decisive in another way - Giroud defends goalless World Cup

Although the striker was unable to score in France's route to glory at the 2018 World Cup, Olivier Giroud says he still contributed.

Olivier Giroud has defended his failure to score at the World Cup, claiming he contributed to France triumphing at Russia 2018 in other ways.

Fellow forwards Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe scored four times apiece as Didier Deschamps' men won the World Cup in July.

Les Bleus' success echoed their last triumph in the tournament 20 years ago, when striker Stephane Guivarc'h did not score.

But Giroud says lifting the trophy more than made up for his inability to score a World Cup goal.

"It necessarily results in a little frustration," Giroud told Le Parisien. "But it has largely been filled by the title. The collective takes precedence over individuals.

"I often had to do a little bit of different work, make sacrifices to help the team hold the lead. In fact, you have less energy to be decisive in the last third.

"Except against Belgium in the second half, I do not have the memory of having missed many opportunities. I even produced two assists.

"My zero goals does not stop me from sleeping. In the street people tell me: even if you have not scored, you have been important.

"We might not have been world champions if I scored. Statistics can be used for anything and everything. I was decisive in another way."

Giroud turns 32 later this month and the striker says international retirement has not yet crossed his mind.

But reaching further landmarks are in Giroud's sights, his 81 caps and 31 goals already placing him among France's elite.

"A team-mate at Chelsea already asked me this question," Giroud said of quitting France duty. "As long as I feel good, can bring something to the team and the coach calls me, I am available.

"I am aware of being closer to the end than the beginning. So I enjoy every moment. I do not put myself any barrier, I do not set any limit.

"It would be a nice figure [100 caps], but before, I would like to rise to among the top three scorers in the history of Les Bleus. For now, I share fourth place with Zizou [Zinedine Zidane] three only behind [David] Trezeguet.

"This podium, it would also be a way to mark the story, even if boys like Antoine and Kylian will exceed me."