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World Cup: France have plenty to play for

There’s a big mountain for us to climb tomorrow (Saturday), says Hugo Lloris
 Hugo Lloris.
Hugo Lloris.
File photo

AP/PTI, Reuters   |   Doha   |   Published 26.11.22, 04:32 AM

Olivier Giroud will overtake Thierry Henry to become  France’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals if he scores against Denmark at the World Cup on Saturday. If Kylian Mbappe finds the net he will move level with another France great.

A victory against the Danes at Stadium 974 will also qualify Les Bleus for the knockout round, and as group winners if Tunisia and Australia draw in the other Group D game.

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So there’s plenty to look forward to, although France captain Hugo Lloris is still striking a cautious note. “If you look too far ahead in a competition that’s when you can stumble. There’s a big mountain for us to climb tomorrow (Saturday),” Lloris said on Friday.

“Titi (a reference to Henry), I’m coming for you,” Giroud joked after the Australia game, during which he benefited from the impressive work of Mbappe.

Giroud and Mbappe looked sharp together and both scored in Tuesday’s 4-1 win against Australia.  Another goal for Mbappe would bring his tally to 30 for France.

That would move him level with Just Fontaine, whose 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup remains a tournament record. In those days players were not earning massive salaries or endorsements, so Fontaine’s prize for leading scorer in Sweden was a hunter’s rifle. It was an appropriate reward for such a ruthless sharpshooter, who scored his 30 in just 21 games before his career was wrecked by a knee injury.



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