Leave me alone, Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud said he had breathed a sigh of relief after scoring the first goal in Euro 2016 and wished the boos he has faced throughout his career would now go away.

Olivier Giroud

The France striker, who opened the scoring with a brave header in Friday’s 2-1 win over Romania on Friday, now has eight goals from his last eight games for the national team.

Giroud, who has scored 18 goals for France, is the team’s most prolific striker since Didiers Deschamps took over as coach in 2012.

“My statistics speak for themselves,” Giroud told a news conference at France’s training camp outside Paris on Saturday.

“People say I get better through adversity but I’d be happy to live without all the mudslingers,” he added.

 

“I had a lot of pressure on me and there was a lot of expectation. But I’m continuing my run of form and that’s good for me.”

Giroud’s headed goal came midway through the second half. Jumping to meet a cross from attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet, he appeared to make slight contact with goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu’s arm as he leapt.

“I didn’t even notice that I’d touched his arm, but having seen the replays it’s true that it could have been given [as a free kick to Romania],” Giroud said.

“But jumping with your hands by your side doesn’t really help anyone. I do tend to raise my elbows a bit when I jump, but I don’t do it on purpose.”

The 29-year-old Giroud was jeered off the pitch by France fans in a 3-2 friendly win in Cameroon two weeks ago before silencing critics with two goals in a 3-0 win over Scotland in Les Bleus’ final warm-up.

Being booed is nothing new to Giroud, who has also faced regular criticism at club level with Arsenal.

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