Global Soccer: Olivier Giroud’s Problem: He Is Not Karim Benzema


Olivier Giroud, right, celebrated one of his two goals for France against Scotland with Patrice Evra, center, and other teammates.

Thibault Camus/Associated Press

LONDON — The French are booing Olivier Giroud.

As France gets ready to host the European Championship with warm-up matches throughout the country, whistles and jeers greet the very mention of the Frenchman’s name.

It happened last week in Nantes as France hosted Cameroon and again over the weekend as France beat Scotland in Metz. Giroud responded to the hostile treatment on each occasion by doing what he has to do: scoring once in the 3-2 win over Cameroon and twice in the 3-0 victory over the Scots.

Fine goals they were, too. A sublime volley against Cameroon and a classic back heel against Scotland won the respect of Coach Didier Deschamps but only grudging acceptance from the detractors in the crowd.

Giroud’s problem is that he is not Karim Benzema. Giroud publicly accepts that the jeers come from, in part, those who think that he was chosen only because Benzema was excluded while he remains under…

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