MUNICH, Germany : The international career of France’s top scorer Olivier Giroud ended quietly on Tuesday, after a late cameo appearance in their 2-1 semi-final loss to Spain at the European Championship.

Giroud played 137 times for Les Bleus and scored 57 goals, more than any other player for France.

Hopes of a final swansong in Germany, however, were dampened by being relegated to the bench, with 56 minutes of game time in four substitute appearances and two attempts on goal.

Giroud, 37, announced his retirement from international football before the tournament, as he secured a move to Los Angeles FC after finishing at AC Milan last season.

“He had a lot of good moments, but also some more difficult ones,” coach Didier Deschamps.

“He is an example of longevity, seriousness and professionalism. Even though he had less playing time at this Euro, he was fully with the squad. He is one of the leaders. I want to say well done and thank you.”

Giroud won his first cap in 2011 against the United States, when Laurent Blanc was coach, and was a member of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018. He also played in the final in Qatar in 2022 and was also on the losing side in the Euro 2016 final.

Ironically, World Cup success in 2018 came as Giroud led France’s attack but failed to score at the tournament in Russia. In Qatar four years later, he netted four as the French reached the final and lost it to Argentina on penalties.

When he announced his international retirement, Giroud said he still had two good years in his legs, but that he was starting to feel his age.

“I thought about it carefully. Playing every three days is more and more difficult, especially at this level.”


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