A page is turning for the Blues. Olivier Giroud, 37 years old, monument of the France team (131 caps, 57 goals), announced this Friday in L’Equipe his intention to end the adventure with the selection. “Being honest, you have to say to yourself that this will be my last competition with the Blues,” he admits while he is expected at the forefront of the French attack this summer at the Euro (June 14-July 14). ). Obviously, I’m going to miss it a lot. But I think that the French team will be finished after the Euro. We must leave room for young people.”

Present in the French team since November 2011 with a first cap against the USA under the orders of Laurent Blanc, Giroud has not missed any major international competition since. Euro 2012, World Cup 2014, Euro 2016, World Cup 2018, Euro 2021, World Cup 2022 and soon Euro 2024… Only Antoine Griezmann (absent in 2012), has also been in all the last campaigns and still plays with the Blues.

A monster of longevity and consistency at the highest level. An unthinkable journey for a boy who only discovered Ligue 1 at the age of 24 with Montpellier and continued to fend off fierce competition for the coveted position of number 9 of the Blues. This summer again, he advances as the starting scorer ahead of Thuram and Kolo Muani, if Deschamps remains with a single point pattern. Grandpa will still resist.

“You also have to know not to overdo the season,” points out the 2018 world champion. “You have to find the right balance. As I said, I also feel physically and mentally tired.” Almost 38 years old, he will leave Europe this summer after the blue streak to discover the United States and Major League Soccer (MLS) under the colors of Los Angeles FC with his friend Hugo Lloris. Way to say goodbye at the highest level. When some prefer money from Saudi Arabia, he bet on the US and family experience. “We’re not going to lie to each other, it’s not Europe, but it’s competitive,” explains the father of four children, who has visited France, England and Italy. I’m going to cut it with the very, very high level, but it’s also a family experience.”

Olivier Giroud will leave a huge void in the France team. Because he is still the top scorer in the history of the selection, even if Kylian Mbappé is set to dethrone him. Because he is the most experienced element, with Antoine Griezmann, to have made all the international campaigns under the orders of Deschamps since 2014. Because in terms of profile and consistency, few French international attackers have as much lasted over time.

Despite periods of doubt, criticism, notably during the sex tape affair where some accused him of having taken advantage of the situation vis-à-vis Karim Benzema, the 3rd most capped player in the history of the Blues (behind Lloris 145 and Thuram 141) never gave up. An ode to perseverance and resilience. His trademark. “He’s an incredible boy with deep humility,” says Arsène Wenger, who had him under his command in London. He is not made to be on a flat path, he needs rocky roads and he finds the resources, isolates himself and comes back even more determined after failures. Olivier never gives up. » The story of his life. Which will soon combine in the past with the French team.