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Giroud targets goal against clubmate Courtois

FIFA World Cup
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ESPN FC  By ESPN

France World Cup triumph 'a childhood dream' -- Chelsea's Olivier Giroud

France paraded down the Champs-Elysees as hundreds of thousands of cheering fans celebrated their second World Cup triumph.
Led by captain Hugo Lloris, France were given a heroes welcome as they arrived back in Paris for the first time since they beat Croatia to win the World Cup.

Olivier Giroud called France's World Cup victory a "dream come true" after he helped his country to its second world title on Sunday.

"It's a great feeling. I mean, 'it's coming home!' I had to say that. Honestly, it's a dream come true, a childhood dream. I am very proud for all the people who supported us, myself," the Chelsea striker said on Monday following France's 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final.

"It has been sometimes difficult, you know, but it is a privilege for me to be part of this...

 By Michael Cox

World Cup finalists France, Croatia owe a lot to old-school Giroud, Mandzukic

Arjen Robben goes into detail about what makes former Bayern teammate Mario Mandzukic such an effective player on football's biggest stage.
France's Antoine Griezmann insists achieving his childhood dream of winning the World Cup is all he cares about and not whether he scores or wins personal accolades.
Paul Pogba admits that France expected to win the 2016 Euro final, but won't make that mistake in the World Cup final.

They don't make them like Olivier Giroud and Mario Mandzukic these days. Or rather, they try not to.

World Cup 2018 has been utterly dominated by European nations, who contributed 11 of the 16 second-round sides, six of the eight quarterfinal teams, all four semifinalists and therefore, of course, both France and Croatia in Sunday's final. While tactical sophistication is frequently (and unfairly) cited as the main strength of European nations, as compared to sides from other continents, realistically...

France determined not to lose World Cup final as they did Euro 2016

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson lists his combined XI before the World Cup final and discusses the similarities to now and the Euro 2016 final.
Paul Pogba admits that France expected to win the 2016 Euro final, but won't make that mistake in the World Cup final.
France's Antoine Griezmann insists achieving his childhood dream of winning the World Cup is all he cares about and not whether he scores or wins personal accolades.
Attention now turns toward the World Cup final as Croatia must find the legs to face France on Sunday.

MOSCOW -- It was two years ago, almost to the day. France were in the final of "their" European Championship at home against Portugal. Four days before that, they beat Germany, the World Champions, 2-0 in Marseille. The Euros were theirs, but the reality couldn't have been any different.

As in 1984, in the same competition, and as in 1998, in the World Cup, Les Bleus were going to win the competition they organised. However, the game on July 10 against Portugal didn't go according to plan. France...

France's Olivier Giroud targets goal against Chelsea teammate Thibaut Courtois

Olivier Giroud speaks glowingly of Kylian Mbappe and Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard before France and Belgium lock horns in their World Cup semifinal.
France's Olivier Giroud jokes that he'd be "very proud" to show former Les Blues striker Thierry Henry that he was wrong to join the Belgium staff.
With France brushing aside Uruguay and Brazil's elimination, the FC crew discuss whether Les Bleus are the clear favourites to win the World Cup.

Olivier Giroud has backed France to find a way past Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in Tuesday's World Cup semifinal in St Petersburg.

Chelsea striker Giroud, 31, has yet to score in Russia but wants to end that run against Chelsea teammate Courtois.

"Thibaut is difficult to beat and he has been very good at this World Cup," he told a news conference on Sunday.

"He has a strong defence in front of him, but I am sure we will be able to break through that wall.

"I have scored a few goals against...

France striker Olivier Giroud was 'frustrated' to be sub against Australia

Frank Lebouef feels France "played like a small team" in the second half against Peru, and doesn't hold back in his opinion of Paul Pogba as a leader.
Argentina's chances of making the round of 16 took a blow after a huge loss to Croatia, while Kylian Mbappe became France's youngest-ever World Cup goal scorer.
ESPN's Steve Nicol believes Didier Deschamps only bares some of the blame for France lacking fluidity so far in the World Cup.

France striker Olivier Giroud has said he was "frustrated" by Didier Deschamps' decision to name him as a substitute for the World Cup-opening 2-1 win over Australia but "understood and accepted" it.

Giroud was brought on 20 minutes from time and was involved in the build-up to the Aziz Behich own goal that won the match 10 minutes later.

Deschamps started the Chelsea forward in Thursday's 1-0 win over Peru, when his shot led to the only goal of the game for Kylian Mbappe.

"For the first match, I...

France to include Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi in starting XI vs. Peru

France coach Didier Deschamps will include Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi in his starting XI to face Peru on Thursday in Yekaterinburg.

Both players were part of first team at Tuesday afternoon's closed-door training session and are therefore expected to start, sources have told ESPN.

Giroud had a positive impact coming off the bench in France's 2-1 win over Australia in their Group C opener and physicality will also be useful up front against the Peruvians.

Matuidi's work rate and intensity...