What did our journalists remember after the France team’s victory against Bulgaria (3-0) at the Stade de France in a preparatory match for Euro 2020?
Stainless, Giroud is (still) not dead
What more can we say that the general public does not know about Olivier Giroud’s state of mind? Replacing and downgraded in the hierarchy of the Blues since the resounding return of Karim Benzema, the second highest scorer in the history of the France team provided his answer on Tuesday evening. Entered after the injury of his direct competitor just before the break, the Blues striker finished the game with two goals in the bag, his 45e and 46e with the world champions which places him five units from Thierry Henry’s record, and the feeling of duty accomplished. Ovationed by the French public present for the occasion, his partners and in particular his friend Hugo Lloris, not to mention Didier Deschamps, the lanky 34-year-old scorer could not have chosen a better time to position himself, before leaving for Germany for the shock of June 15 at the opening of the Euro. If some doubted it, the answer is there. Scathing. We will have to rely on Olivier Giroud this summer.
» READ ALSO – The notes of the Blues after France-Bulgaria: Eternal Giroud, Pogba and Griezmann (already) in Euro mode
A semblance of normal life that feels good
After almost seven matches in a row behind closed doors (there were 1,000 spectators for the October games against Ukraine and Portugal), the Blues have finally reconnected with their home audience. And although they were only 5,000 lucky to fill the spans of the Stade de France, their presence brightened up the evening and reminded us how much top-level sport needs spectators to offer its full potential. Grouped sideways, in a low part that looks like Tribune Marek in Lens, the French supporters put the flag atmosphere in hand and gave voice all evening. More than five years later, Karim Benzema could once again hear his name chanted by fans who were equally generous with Griezmann, Mbappé or Giroud. What to fill up with positive waves before flying to Munich where the 14,000 people expected at the Allianz Arena next Tuesday reserve them a necessarily more hostile welcome.
Benzema, la sale image
This evening is likely to speak in the coming days with on one side the sorrow of Karim Benzema and on the other the joy of Olivier Giroud. For very different reasons. Victim of a crutch in the right thigh after a badly negotiated head half an hour into the game, the Blues striker, placed in the axis with Mbappé and Griezmann at his side against the Bulgarians, immediately grimaced. Tested himself afterwards, before asking to be treated on the sidelines. Then finally to give way to Giroud just before the break (39e), without hiding disappointment and sadness. First in the stands, his face marked, he spent almost the entire second half in the locker room before coming back, limping, following the end of the match alongside his partners. The next few hours will tell more about the severity of his injury and no one in the Blues hopes to receive very sad news.
» READ ALSO – The Blues seduce before the Euro, Benzema worries
Bulgaria too weak
“It’s true that some players are tired. I hope we will hold out, ”Yasen Petrov warned on Monday. The Bulgarian coach’s proteges did not offer him a good surprise at the Stade de France. Totally drowned in blue waves, the 71e nation in the Fifa rankings, which will not compete in the Euro, suffered all evening (30% possession) and never carried the danger in front of Lloris’ goal (only one shot, off target, occurred in the 79e minute). If Didier Deschamps regretted that the red card received by Wales in Nice had distorted the interest of the match, the very low level displayed by the Bulgarians does not allow many lessons to be learned before the clash against Germany. But with six goals scored for none conceded in preparation, it’s always taken.
France-Bulgaria in pictures