France’s all-time leading scorer Olivier Giroud plans to end international career after Euro

PARIS (AP) — France’s all-time leading scorer Olivier Giroud says he plans to end his international career after the European Championship next month.

The 37-year-old forward has scored 57 goals in 131 matches for France. He was part of the France squad that won the 2018 World Cup and has been selected to play at the Euros.

“To be honest, this will be my last competition with Les Bleus. Obviously, I’m going to miss it a lot,” Giroud told L’Equipe in an interview published late Thursday. ”We need to make way for the youngsters.”

Giroud recently signed a deal to play in the MLS with Los Angeles FC, leaving Europe after 18 years in the top professional leagues in France, England and Italy. Giroud joined LAFC from AC Milan with a contract through 2025. The deal includes an option for 2026.

“I’m also feeling physical and mental fatigue,” Giroud told L’Equipe. “I’ve always said I was going to stop when my body asked me to. I think I’ve got two good years left. But as far as the French team is concerned, I think that’ll be the end of it.”

Giroud is best known for his six prolific seasons at Arsenal from 2012-18, followed by three years apiece at Chelsea and Milan. He has scored 285 goals in 716 matches during his club career while winning a wealth of trophies, including a Champions League triumph with Chelsea three years ago. He also won the French league title with Montpellier back in 2012, and the Italian league with Milan 10 years later.

The European Championship begins next month in Germany. France, which has won the tournament twice, is in a group with Austria, the Netherlands and Poland.

“It’s really the desire to go as far as possible in the competition with this generation that drives me,” Giroud said when asked about his objective at the Euro. “If I win, apart from the Premier League, which is very difficult to win, I could say I’ve won everything… I’m also hearing a lot about reaching the 60-goal mark for the national team. But it’s not an obsession.”


AP soccer:

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