‘We put the smile back on French faces’

Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud says his country’s performances at Euro 2016 “put the smile back on the faces” of the French nation.

The striker scored three goals and claimed two assists as the hosts reached the final in Paris, at the end of a turbulent 12 months for his country.

“People in France are suffering from the economic situation and the social issues too,” Giroud told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “That’s why we really wanted to have a good tournament, to give them pleasure and put the smile back on their faces.

“A lot of people told me that it was an amazing tournament when I was on my holidays, and a lot of people congratulated us and myself too, saying ‘Bravo’ and ‘Thank you’. I’ve been touched by this world and we are very proud of what we achieved during the Euros. Even if we didn’t win it, it was still an amazing moment for me and France.

“It was a dream of any youngster who wants to play football. The first thing is that you want to wear the blue shirt and represent the country as much as you can, so when you have the opportunity to give pleasure to more than 64 million people, it’s a real honour for me and the team.

“We were aware of that and we tried to give our best. The different memories I have from this European tournament will be in my head until the end of my life. I saw so many pictures in my head, but to score the opening goal was an amazing moment for me.

“There were a lot of goosebumps when I scored. Then there was the game against Iceland which we took from the front foot, and we did very well. We won 5-2 and I scored a brace, so I was very pleased to have a great tournament like that.”

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