Olivier Giroud has become the eighth man to reach 100 France caps
He captained them to a 7-1 victory over Ukraine
Giroud celebrated by going second on their list of all-time leading marksmen
The unlikely star has hit the hundred – and outranked one of the game’s all-time greatest performers in the process. Olivier Giroud, who failed to win a youth cap for France at any level and who didn’t make it to Ligue 1 until he was in his mid-20s, became the eighth man to reach the senior Bleus’ century club.
The Chelsea striker, who turned 34 last month, marked the occasion by captaining his country and scoring twice in a 7-1 victory over Ukraine as France warmed up for a UEFA Nations League showdown with Portugal, to whom they lost in the UEFA EURO 2016 final, in style. The brace catapulted Giroud above Michel Platini and into second place on his country’s list of all-time leading marksmen, nine behind Thierry Henry.
France’s all-time leading scorers
Giroud’s first 40 goals for Les Bleus were all scored inside the box. He ended the sequence in his milestone match on Wednesday with a sumptuous strike into the top corner from distance.
Giroud, then 25, made his France debut as a substitute in a 1-0 win over USA in 2011. “This is a childhood dream come true,” he said. “I still can’t believe it. It’s immensely pleasing and huge privilege to play for my country.”
On his first FIFA World Cup™ start, against Switzerland at Brazil 2014, Giroud flung back his neck and somehow generated immense power to head home a Mathieu Valbuena corner and break the deadlock. It was France’s 100th goal in the competition, and they went on to win 5-2.
Giroud scored the first goal of UEFA EURO 2016 with a trademark header against Romania. The then-Arsenal player netted twice in the quarter-finals against Iceland. Giroud finished with a runners-up medal and as the joint-second-top scorer behind compatriot, Antoine Griezmann.
No player had scored a hat-trick for France since David Trezeguet in 2000 until Giroud, in a 5-0 victory over Paraguay in 2017, produced a fine volley, diving header and left-foot finish.
He may not have got on the score-sheet, but Giroud’s physical presence and hold-up play enabled Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to excel as France won Russia 2018. “He was fundamental,” said coach Didier Deschamps. “The players getting the headlines will be the first to tell you how important he was.”
Welcome to FIFA.com News – Pele: The only thing I haven’t done in 80 years is play on the moon
Pele turns 80 today
FIFA had the immense privilege of interviewing ‘The King’
An emotional Pele expressed his gratitude to football
“In Pele’s 80 years, the only thing that’s missing is to land on the moon,” a teary-eyed Pele told FIFA on his landmark birthday. “When there’s football on the moon, I’ll go there and have a little kickaround.”
In this interview, ‘The King’ discussed everything he has achieved with Brazil, Santos and New York Cosmos, told an amusing childhood story and revealed his gratitude to football.
“I’m crying with joy,” he assured his wife Marcia as she passed him a tissue. “Can’t I cry with joy?”
Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Carlos Cuadras 2: Fight prediction, card, odds, start time, how to watch
When Carlos Cuadras tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, it seemed his Friday night rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada was about to go up in smoke. Instead, Cuadras was able to turn in a negative follow-up test and the bout was saved, as were hopes of a super flyweight unification rematch between Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
Cuadras (39-3-1, 27 KO) will battle Estrada (40-3, 27 KO) for the WBC super flyweight championship in the main event from Gymnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City (7 p.m. ET, DAZN). Chocolatito (49-2, 41 KO) will also be in action, putting his WBA version of the 115-pound world title on the line against Israel Gonzalez (25-3, 11KO). The goal of the show for Matchroom Boxing seems to be to get to that unification bout between Estrada and Gonzalez. The two previously met in 2012, with Gonzalez taking a wide decision victory.
Cuadras is more than a mere stepping stone to a bigger fight, however. In September 2017, Cuadras battled Estrada in a highly-competitive bout. Estrada took the fight on the judges’ scorecards, winning 114-113 on all three scorecards. A knockdown by Estrada in Round 10 was the deciding factor in that fight, buti it showed that Cuadras can hang with Estrada. An upset win by Cuadras could also result in a rematch, as he has his own loss to Gonzalez in a bloody fight in 2016.
Estrada defeated Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in April 2019, a victory that established him as the top 115-pound fighter in the world and landed him the WBC world title. After one successful defense, he was linked up with Cuadras, who has struggled a bit since that first meeting with Estrada, including a stint in rehab after refusing a drug test following a loss to McWilliams Arroyo in 2018.
Chocolatito had staked a claim to a spot as arguably the pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport when he ran into Rungvisai, who handed Chocolatito the first two losses of his career. After a few rebound wins, he proved he still had plenty to give in the ring by thrashing Khalid Yafai for a ninth-round TKO win to capture the WBA title.
In Israel Gonzalez, Chocolatito faces a fighter who has lost his two prior shots at world championships. Gonzalez lost a shot at the IBF super flyweight title against Jerwin Ancajas in February 2018 and then lost to Yafai in a shot at the WBA title in November of that year.
In the opening bout of the card, Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KO) will put his WBC flyweight title on the line against Moises Calleros (33-9-1, 17 KO). Calleros is stepping in for Maximino Flores after Flores tested positive for COVID-19, taking down a bout that looked like a thriller on paper. Martinez has established himself as a must-watch talent, impressing with every outing over recent years before thrashing Cristofer Rosales to win the vacant WBC flyweight title.
Estrada vs. Cuadras 2 card, odds
Juan Francisco Estrada (c) -575
Carlos Cuadras +425
WBC super flyweight title
Chocolatito Gonzalez (c) -2000
Israel Gonzalez +1000
WBA super flyweight title
Julio Cesar Martinez (c) -2200
Moises Calleros +1100
WBC flyweight title
Estrada should not be looking past Cuadras, and likely won’t be after their first fight was so close. That said, the two men have gone in different directions since that first meeting. Cuadras had the stint in rehab and then pieced together some middling wins after returning to the ring. Meanwhile, Estrada has proved himself an elite fighter in the division and is likely one win away from getting the rematch he has wanted for nearly a decade. Expect Cuadras to give everything he has and present the best version he has left of himself, but it likely will not be enough against a man who is now simply a better fighter. Pick: Estrada via UD
Kapil Dev, India’s greatest allrounder and their 1983-World-Cup-winning captain, has successfully undergone an angioplasty. Dev, who is 61 years old, is understood to be in a stable condition following the procedure, which took place on Thursday evening.
According to Sportstak, who spoke to Dev’s wife Romi, the former India captain had complained of uneasiness on Thursday. At the recommendation of the family doctor Dev went to hospital where it was determined he had a blocked artery in the heart.
An angioplasty is a medical procedure that widens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries – the main blood vessels supplying the heart.
In a statement issued on Friday, Fortis Escorts, the hospital where he underwent the procedure, said Dev is in the ICU but “stable”. The statement said Dev arrived at Fortis at 1 am on Friday complaining of chest pain.
“He was evaluated and an emergency coronary Angioplasty was performed by Dr. Atul Mathur, Director of Cardiology Department, in the middle of night,” the statement said. “Currently, he is admitted in ICU and under close supervision of Dr. Atul Mathur and his team. Mr. Kapil Dev is stable now and he is expected to get discharged in couple of days.”
Dev, who played 131 Tests and 225 ODIs from 1978 to 1994, is widely hailed as one of the finest allrounders to have played the game. With 5248 runs at 31.05 and 434 wickets at 29.64, he remains the only cricketer to have achieved the double of 5000 Test runs and 400 wickets, and one of only two, alongside Ian Botham, to have completed the 5000-300 double.
An outswing bowler of great accuracy and skill, Dev broke Richard Hadlee’s record for most Test wickets (431) in 1994, and his mark of 434 stood until 2000, when Courtney Walsh went past it. Muttiah Muralitharan now holds the record for most Test wickets (800) while James Anderson – who currently has 600 – has the most Test wickets by a fast bowler.