'Blessed' Giroud full of confidence after ending World Cup drought with record-equalling double

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Olivier Giroud feels "blessed" to have matched Thierry Henry's France goalscoring record with a brace against Australia that marked his first World Cup goals since 2014.

Giroud was a key part of the France side that won the title at Russia 2018, but he failed to score across seven matches.

The Milan striker's only previous World Cup goal had been the opener in a group-stage rout of Switzerland eight years ago, a meagre return from 12 appearances in the competition.

But Giroud never doubted himself, insisting after Tuesday's double in a 4-1 win he had not received the same level of chances in 2018.

He accrued 1.7 expected goals from five shots at Al Janoub Stadium, having had chances worth just 1.2 xG across the entirety of the previous World Cup.

"Not really," Giroud replied when asked if he was relieved. "I just try to bring what I can do to the team.

"When I get the opportunity, I try to always put it in the back of the net. This time, I couldn't miss, because I received great balls.

"If you watch the World Cup 2018, I didn't get as many chances as I would hope. Those were different kinds of games. It's very good for confidence for the next stage."

Giroud's second goal from a Kylian Mbappe cross was his 51st for France, matching Henry's record return.

"I don't like to speak about myself," Giroud said. "I will say that we started the competition well. It was massively important to win this first game.

"We started the game in not the best way, but we've shown a great character and we bounced back straight away, which was very important.

"Personally, obviously, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be next to Titi Henry now."

He added to TF1: "It's a source of great pride, I don't intend to stop there. I hope to continue in the competition so that I can help the team achieve our goal."