Later News Jun 09

Giroud proves value of Go-karts with brace in Bulgaria friendly, as ‘F1 car’ Benzema injures knee

France might have to do without Karim Benzema for their opening Euros 2020 Group F fixture against Germany next week, after the 33-year-old suffered a knock to his knee during a friendly against Bulgaria this morning (SGT).


Enter Olivier Giroud.


The World Cup winner, so often derided as an immobile, substandard striker, once again proved his worth to his many critics – which includes Benzema himself – with a well-taken brace against the Bulgarians to secure a 3-0 win for the French. Antoine Griezmann scored the other goal for France with a stunning bicycle kick.


WATCH: Griezmann's best 2020/2021 Copa del Rey goals


To Giroud’s detractors, the 34-year-old is like a handsome stale fart that just refuses to go away. But take a whiff of him, and you are suddenly reminded of his potency – after all, Giroud’s brace for France today means he is now just five goals away from matching France’s all-time top scorer Thierry Henry.


Benzema previously claimed that both he and Giroud were of different levels – he had compared himself to a Formula One vehicle, while saddling the Chelsea forward with the label of a go-kart.


Nonetheless, Giroud insists that there is no bad blood between the two of them, and even suggested that they would go-kart together should they emerge victorious at the Euros.


“There is no reason to hit it with Karim,” Giroud told Le Figaro. “The statements he made about me made me smile and laugh more than anything else. I put myself in his shoes. It's not easy to come back like that. You have to know how to forgive and not hold a grudge.


“If we win (the Euros), we will both go celebrate on a karting circuit. That will make a great photo!”


WATCH: Giroud's best Chelsea moments


Despite Giroud’s joviality, he will likely remain as backup to Benzema for the Euros. Attempting to play down the severity of Benzema’s injury, France coach Didier Deschamps explained that he had only taken the Real Madrid striker off in the 41st minute as he wanted to take “no risk”.


“It's a knock on the knee (for Benzema), which also affects the muscle,” said Deschamps. “He felt he was getting stiff so he asked to be subbed. The medical staff are taking care of him.”


Nonetheless, Deschamps declared himself pleased with his team’s performance.


“There were a lot of good things in this game,” said Deschamps. “I've been able to spare a few players as I was allowed six substitutions. Now we know what to expect, it's going to be much more difficult on the 15th (against Germany). The competition is about to start and that's the only thing that matters.”


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