Olivier Giroud scores 52nd goal to break Henry’s France record

The 36-year-old striker has become France’s all-time top goal scorer, surpassing Thierry Henry – but Kylian Mbappe is not far behind.

Giroud #9
Olivier Giroud has scored 52 goals with France colours [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

France striker Olivier Giroud has written his name into the history books after scoring against Poland in the round of 16 of the football World Cup in Qatar to become the national team’s all-time top scorer, with 52 goals.

The 36-year-old on Sunday picked up a pass from Kylian Mbappe in the 44th minute inside the box and sent a low shot with his left foot past Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny, his former teammate at Arsenal, to fire Les Bleus ahead at Sunday’s clash at Al Thumama Stadium.

The AC Milan striker had matched France great Thierry Henry’s 51-goal record with a brace in a 4-1 win over Australia in his nation’s World Cup opener, leaving him one shy of the outright benchmark.

France vs Poland, FIFA World Cup 2022, December 5, Al Thumama Stadium
Kylian Mbappe was magnificent against Poland [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Giroud would likely not have started for Didier Deschamps’s side if it had not been for pre-tournament injuries to Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku.

Instead, Giroud and star player Mbappe have been tasked with carrying the attacking burden as France aim to defend their World Cup crown.

France easily beat Poland 3-1 to reach the tournament’s last 8, with Mbappe scoring the other two goals for Les Bleus to reach 33 international goals, at just 23 years old.

France’s top goal scorers

  • Olivier Giroud: 52
  • Thierry Henry: 51
  • Antoine Griezmann: 42
  • Michel Platini: 41
  • Karim Benzema: 37
  • David Trezeguet: 34
  • Kylian Mbappe: 33
  • Zinedine Zidane: 31
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies