France and Chelsea star Olivier Giroud believes that France can continue to dominate the football world for years to come after they won the 2018 World Cup following a 4-2 victory in the final against Croatia on Sunday.
Though the scoreline suggests that Les Bleus won the game convincingly, this was far from the case. The first half was entertaining and competitive and there were even times during that period when Croatia looked to be the better side.
Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring as he netted an own goal. Ivan Perisic then equalized for Croatia with a thunderbolt during the 28th minute.
During the 38th minute, France were awarded a controversial penalty via VAR after Ivan Perisic was adjudged to have handled the ball. Antoine Griezmann made no mistake in converting from the spot. That was the turning point in the game and Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe scored during the second stanza to hand France their second World Cup, following their success on home soil in 1998.
What was particularly impressive about the French side in Russia was that they were the second youngest side to compete in the event, tied with England.
This bodes well for the future and they could have the same core within the side during Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. More excitingly more French fans, many of the youngsters who are currently part of their setup have yet to hit the peak of their careers.
At 31 years old and arguably past his prime, it is unlikely that Giroud will continue to be selected for France for the long term. However, he does now have a World Cup to his name and is also excited for the future of his country.
He told the Standard Sport: “There are only five of us in the squad that are over 30 years old. We have an amazing generation with young talented players, that’s why we can have a lot of hope of winning more in the future.
“One thing is sure: if we keep this mentality with our quality, we will be very competitive and very hard to beat.”
During his time in Russia, Giroud did not score a goal but contributed one assist for his country. He has former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to thank, as he could have well missed out on selection for his country’s World Cup squad had it not been for the Italian tactician. During the first half of the season, Giroud struggled to earn regular game time under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. He did, however, earn regular minutes after Conte brought him to Stamford Bridge in January, with Alvaro Morata clearly struggling.