Giroud relieved to move on from France record after beating Henry mark in win over Poland

Olivier Giroud pledged to put his record-breaking 52nd France goal behind him after helping Les Bleus reach the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over Poland.

Giroud equalled Thierry Henry's tally of 51 France goals by scoring twice against Australia in his side's World Cup opener last month, and he went one better by opening the scoring with a neat finish at the Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday.

Kylian Mbappe then scored two outstanding goals as France maintained their record of advancing from all of their last-16 World Cup ties, with this sixth such win teeing up a meeting with England or Senegal.

Asked about his record-breaking strike by TF1, Giroud said he was simply relieved to have ended conversations about when his historic goal would arrive.

"My wife and my children were there, plus my childhood friend. It's a childhood dream to beat Thierry Henry like that," Giroud said.

"A lot of people told me it was coming, now I put it behind me and my obsession is to go as far as possible with the team.

"I was a little frustrated not to have been able to capitalise on one or two crosses that we made at the start of the match, so I really wanted to score this goal, just to stop talking about it!"

France top scorers
France top scorers

The victory means France remain on course to become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil did so in 1962, while Les Bleus have only lost one of their seven knockout games at the tournament under Didier Deschamps.

France lost several key players – including Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante – to injury ahead of the tournament, and Giroud believes strong team spirit has helped them cope.

"The adventure continues. We said to ourselves in the locker room that to live a magnificent experience together, we had to be united and be one," Giroud said.

"We were able to find the right words in the locker room, we have a great group of friends, it shows on the field. This team is rewarded for its efforts."

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot concurred, adding: "It makes me happy, you have to leave the pitch without regret, that's what I try to do at every match, as long as it lasts.

"Above all, we must insist on solidarity and unity in this team, that's what makes us strong. If we continue like this, we can do great things."