The veteran forward has shrugged off any suggestion of bad blood after the Real Madrid man made unfavourable comparisons between the duo last year
Olivier Giroud has joked about Karim Benzema’s comments comparing him to a go-kart following the pair’s reunion with France ahead of Euro 2020, with the Chelsea striker quipping that he will take his international team-mate on a celebratory lap if they triumph this summer.
The veteran forward duo have been named together for Les Bleus for the first time in six years, following the Real Madrid star’s recall from the wilderness as Didier Deschamps looks to back up a Russia 2018 World Cup triumph across Europe.
Last year, Benzema claimed that he could not be compared to his fellow countryman however, claiming the difference between them was that of a Formula One vehicle and a go-kart – but now Giroud has laughed off the potential for any bad blood between the pair.
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What has been said?
“There is no reason to hit it with Karim,” the 34-year-old told Le Figaro, in the week where he penned a one-year extension to remain at Stamford Bridge after claiming a Champions League winner’s medal last month.
“The statements he made about me made me smile and laugh more than anything else. I put myself in his shoes. It’s not easy to come back like that. You have to know how to forgive and not hold a grudge,
Asked if the duo would do anything together in the event of victory at Wembley Stadium next month, Giroud added: “We will both go celebrate on a karting circuit. That will make a great photo!”
Duo head seasoned squad
Giroud and Benzema are among eight players aged 30 or over called up for Les Bleus’ push for a second successive major honour, with the latter a full 11 years older than the youngest member of the squad in Kylian Mbappe.
Their experience is sure to provide a boost for Deschamps, who knows that his side will be firmly counted among the favourites, alongside defending champions Portugal – who they face in Group F – and the Russia 2018 semi-final pair of Belgium and England, among others.
Giroud has been handed the number nine shirt, suggesting a potential star role, though he was absent for Wednesday’s friendly win over Wales, while Benzema started up front on his long-awaited return to the international fold, missing a penalty in a 3-0 victory.
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