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Olivier Giroud sets his sights on Michel Platini’s France record

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final
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Olivier Giroud is targetting Michel Platini after becoming France’s third-highest scorer in history during Monday’s 4-0 win over Iceland.

The Chelsea striker scored his 35th goal for France on Monday night, with a trademark close-range finish from Benjamin Pavard’s cross in the second half.

It enabled Giroud to overtake Juventus legend David Trezeguet into third-place in the nation’s all-time scorers list, with just Platini (41) and Thierry Henry (51) ahead.

And now the 32-year-old has firmly set his sights on matching three-time Ballon d’Or winner Platini’s tally.

“It’s a goal,” Giroud told M6.

“The most important thing is always a collective success, I always put the collective success first.

“But it is true that on the personal level, it is necessary to be decisive.

“I hope to join Platini, we’ll see.”

On surpassing Trezeguet, Giroud said: “David Trezeguet was a reference for the position of centre forward, with his characteristics as a striker.

“Of course, I’m happy and proud. I want to continue.”

Despite his continued regular action for France, however, Giroud has struggled to break into the Chelsea team this season under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

The former Arsenal forward has seen most of his starts come in the Europa League, where he has found the net nine times in as many appearances.

But France boss Didier Deschamps assured everyone he intends to continue using the “very useful” Giroud.

“He is less used by his club but when he plays in the Europa League, he also scores. His pivotal presence is very useful to the team,” said Deschamps.

“He comes back from a difficult time, he is an unfairly decried player.

“But his goals, it is necessary to put them at the high level and over the duration, it is not nothing. As long as I select him and he plays, he can get closer [to Platini’s total]. I’m not here to help him.

“When he is on the field, he continues to score. He is always there with this desire and this freshness, he must keep that.”

Samuel Umtiti, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann were the other goalscorers for France in Monday’s 4-0 win over Iceland in their Group H Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Les Bleus will next be in action away to joint-Group H leaders Turkey on June 8 in Konya.

France v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 28: Olivier Giroud (obscure) of France celebrate with his team mates after he scores the opening goal during the International Friendly match between France and Ireland at Stade de France on May 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)