It was arguable that if Olivier Giroud is the best striker of modern-day French team. He was the current best goal scorer of his national team, and last night Giroud scored for Chelsea – his club side – a poker in the UEFA Champions League.
Even when Giroud scored a perfect poker – one with the left foot, one with the right foot, one header, and one penalty kick, he could not deny that some fans won’t put him in the same class with other French strikers. Perhaps, some people still agree that Karim Benzema – the one that was replaced by Chelsea striker on the national team – is a better attacker. It is undeniable that Olympique Lyonnais former striker has a more decorated career compared to Giroud. Three UEFA Champions League in a row, and several other trophies that Benzema has won with Real Madrid in the last 11 years is so overwhelming that Giroud could compare with. Nonetheless, while Benzema and his Madrid suffered from a defeat in Ukraine, Giroud scored a poker for Chelsea last night and proved that he could be so classy when it is necessary.
It was Karim Benzema who put his footprints into the world of professional soccer sooner. At the age of 17, Benzema had his debut for the first team of Olympique Lyonnais in the Ligue One, while Giroud made his Ligue One debut when he was already 24 year-old. From the beginning of the career, the two players have a different path that both of them decided to settle in. Benzema was sharp, confident, and genuinely talented. On the other hand, Giroud was modest, caring, and hard-working.
The paths that they decided to follow were different, and as a result, they got the different outcomes. Benzema climbed to the highest peak of the club career with Real Madrid when he was the cog of the Real Madrid squad that has won the UEFA Champions League 4 times in 5 years (from 2014-2018). Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud accomplished the highest glory of the international career with his French nation when the striker became the World Cup winner of 2018.
In that glory journey, Giroud did not score even a goal for Les Bleus, but his role in the squad of Didier Deschamps – the World Cup winner of 1998 – is tremendously important. Probably, Benzema was the only one who did not agree with Giroud’s importance.
“It works because he’s there. That’s all. It’s not going to be spectacular, it’s not going to be anything crazy but in his way you see more of Griezmann or Mbappe because he will put the work in,” Benzema said in a statement.
Although Benzema denied the key role of his former teammate, Giroud did not seem to care about it at all. The modest striker kept doing what he has been doing since the beginning of his career: focusing on training and showing the class on the field. Last night, the modest but humble and clinical Giroud showed his class again.
He scored not just one, but four goals against the champion of 2019-2020 UEFA Europa League-Sevilla. The Spanish side was not an easy opponent, but with his experience and his intelligent mindset, Giroud understood how to create a nightmarish display for his opponents.
With his left foot, Giroud fired off the result in the 8th minute. Then the striker from Grenoble scored in the 54th, 74th and 83th minutes respectively for his side. The first goal was with his left foot, then the second was with his right foot; the third one was a header, and the final one was a penalty kick.
In just one night, Giroud made Sevilla suffer 4 times, and each time, he created an unforgettable mark differently. Such a classy performance of a 34-year-old striker!
In the end, the argument about the class of Benzema and Giroud will be a life-long argument. But in just one night, Giroud showed that instead of talking out loud and arguing with noise, working in silent and showing the result were more important. Since the first day of his professional career, Giroud was not the most decorated one, if don’t want to say the normal one.
Nonetheless, the normal one has been working hard throughout the year, and last night, his work soared wildly at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium of the Andalucia. Giroud scored not just one, but four goal for his Chelsea.