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Olivier Giroud: The most underrated footballer in the world?



Olivier Giroud is one of the most underappreciated, if not the most, currently active footballers.

The Frenchman has won the World Cup for the country and had the honour to lift the ultimate prize of European club football, the Champions League.

At the same time, many top footballers finished their careers without the opportunity to lay their hands on any of those titles.

Despite having a rich trophy cabinet, Giroud barely gets the recognition he deserves.

Stats don’t tell the story

His involvement in France’s 2018 World Cup-winning campaign, where he started every match, led to a myriad of memes online mocking Giroud’s ‘’poor’’ stats in the tournament.

Giroud did not score any goals in the competition and had only one assist under his belt.

On paper, this looks pretty below par indeed. But, Giroud still managed to significantly impact the team, which can’t be quantified using stats.

His excellent hold-up play, physicality and work rate made it easier for his attacking partners Kylian MBappe and Antoine Griezmann to wreak havoc on opposition defences.

Giroud did the dirty work, drew away the defenders, and created vacuums upfront, which other attackers could take advantage of. He served as the perfect attacking outlet for France.

For this reason, Olivier Giroud has been a staple at Les Blues setup.

Stellar national record

He has represented his country 111 times, meaning he has played more matches for France than Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane, and his current national team coach Didier Deschamps.

Giroud is not known as a prolific goalscorer, but he only has Thierry Henry in front of him in the all-time goalscorer’s leaderboard for France.

The Arsenal legend bagged 51 goals in 123 outings for France.

Giroud currently has 47 goals in 111 caps, meaning Giroud will break Thierry’s record playing fewer matches than him if he scores four more goals in his next 11 games for France.

Arsenal fans might not have good memories of Olivier Giroud as many Gooners single Giroud out as the reason Arsenal did not win the league in 2015/16.

But, the truth is, Arsenal’s poor run of form towards the end of that campaign was affected by a handful of other factors besides Giroud’s underperformance.

Santi Cazorla’s injury and Arsenal’s defensive struggles were pivotal in finishing Arsenal’s title ambitions. But, Giroud was the lightning rod for criticism.

Off to Chelsea

Arsenal sold Giroud to Chelsea in 2018 for €17 million.

Before jumping ship, Giroud scored 105 goals and made 41 assists in 253 appearances for the North London club.

At Chelsea, Giroud’s role mainly was limited as a substitute.

But, the France international’s fantastic professionalism and penchant for scoring crucial goals made him a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge. He scored 39 goals and made 14 assists in 119 appearances for Chelsea.

With the 2022 World Cup fast approaching and Karim Benzema’s return to the French national team, Olivier Giroud felt the urge to clock more minutes and his pursuit of regular football brought him to the San Siro in 2021.

Sizzling at San Siro

The 35-year-old has forged a formidable striking partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovich at AC Milan.

As of writing, Giroud has played 29 matches for the Rossoneri and scored 11 goals, including a crucial brace against reigning Serie A champions and arch-rivals Inter Milan in the Derby Della Madonnina.

Even though his contributions often fly under the radar, Olivier Giroud has been a part of the teams he has represented in recent times.

He has been nothing short of excellent for Milan and merits a seat on France’s national team’s Qatar-bound flight later this year.

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WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo storms off pitch after throwing his runner’s-up medal into stands




Cristiano Ronaldo and his AL-Nassr side lost the Riyadh Cup to AL Hilal on Saturday. It was a clinical performance from the Al-Hilal side as they won the match 2-0. It was a frustrating night for the Portugal legend as he was heckled by the fans in the crowd.

The cameras panned to Cristiano Ronaldo who was swarmed by his teammates. There were chants cheering on Lionel Messi from the stands. Already peeved after losing the game, Ronaldo lost his cool and threw his medal at the fans.

Watch the video here:

During the game, Ronaldo was seen showing disgraceful actions towards the AL-Hilal fans. A scarf which was thrown his way saw the Portugal superstar rub it in the most inappropriate area. The 39-year-old earned the ire of the fans after this incident came to light.

AL-Hilal down AL-Nassr to win Riyadh Cup 2024 –

The 2024 Riyadh Cup final saw some amazing football being played. Cristiano Ronaldo was all smiles as WWE Superstar The Undertaker came out to place the trophy. Once the action began it was an end-to-end encounter as both teams went hard at goal.

Serbian star Sergej-Milinkovic Savic opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the game. It was two-nil 13 minutes later as Salem Aldaswari scored an amazing goal. That was the end of the contest despite an hour left in the game to be played.

There was no way back for the Al Nassr side as they looked clueless in front of goal. Not many chances were created by Ronaldo and his team. Al Hilal’s defense held their own against a rampaging Al Nassr side in the last few minutes.

There was pandemonium in the stands as the final whistle was sounded and the Al Hilal fans celebrated. There was a chorus of Messi chants which visibly irked Ronaldo at the end of the game.

Ever since his move from Manchester United in late 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo has changed Saudi Football. The likes of Karim Benzema and N Golo Kante are currently playing in the Saudi Pro League. AL Hilal themselves signed noted Brazilian sensation Neymar who sic out injured. With the veteran star in the twilight of his career, this kind of behaviour is least expected from Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Sandeep Lamichhane convicted of molestation, jailed for eight years



Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been convicted of raping a 17-year-old in 2022. During the case, he kept playing for the team, notably during the Asia Cup 2023 and ODI World Cup qualifier in June last year. After the case was filed, he was playing for eventual winners, Jamaica Tallawahs. The leg-spinner was released from the team and was taken into custody.

“I know I am facing a difficult time of conspiracy and wrongful allegation and the ramification of its effect is something unimaginable. I am sure there must be some mechanism of compensating to the accused who proven to be innocent in our legal system,” he wrote. “I will soon seek legal support against wrongful prosecution and allegation made against me and I am sure I will get the justice and will return to the cricket ground soon to make the name and fame of my beloved country and I pray for speedy trial.”

After landing home, the former Delhi Capitals player claimed that the allegations made against him were baseless.

“All these things affected me mentally on one hand and on the other hand, I had to go through illness, and due to mental stress and ill health I kept myself in isolation. I have been mentally and physically affected by the portrayal and I have reached a state of imbalance and I have been bringing myself back to a normal state under the advice of doctors. My health is gradually improving, and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to defend against the false complaint against me,” the leggie wrote on Facebook in September 2022.

Talking about the current status, the bench also slapped him with a fine of Rs 300,000 (USD 2255 approx) and ordered him to pay Rs 200,000 (USD 1500 approx) in compensation to the victim. Lamichhane’s lawyer, Saroj Ghimire, told AFP that he “will appeal the decision in a higher court.”

Sandeep Lamichhane’s career at a glance

He is the first Nepal player to play in IPL, PSL, CPL, and several other leagues. He made his international debut at the age of 18

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WATCH: Gautam Gambhir makes endearing comment while answering question related to Virat Kohli



Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir is believed to have a personal dislike for former India skipper Virat Kohli. Over the years, Gambhir has been critical of the 2008 U19 World Cup-winning captain on a lot of issues. Not to forget, Gambhir has been vocal about not the media should be worshipping individual players.

During a talk show on Star Sports, the two-time World Cup winner was asked about the bowler Kohli faced while completing his 50th ODI hundred. As Gambhir gave the right answer, he also mentioned that his rivalry is with Kohli which stays on the field only.

Watch the video here

He replied:

“Lockie Ferguson.”

Gambhir then smilingly went on to add:

“Ye aap baar baar dikhana, mujhe sab kuch yaad rehta hai. Ladai meri sirf on the field hai (Please show this clip again and again, I remember everything. My fight is only on the field)”

I want Virat Kohli to bat with the same intent he is known for: Gautam Gambhir

In another conversation. Gambhir said that Kohli must bat the same way against South Africa in the two-match Test series the way he does. Notably, the latter won’t play the practice game as he has come back to India for personal reasons. However, the right-hander will be available for the series.

“It will be in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s minds that Shreyas Iyer, who is on his first tour, will be batting after Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul, if he plays, will be playing as a wicketkeeper for the first time. However, I want Virat Kohli to bat with the same intent he is known for.”

India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat (wk)

Tuesday 26-Dec-23 to 30-Dec-23 1st Test Centurion
Wednesday 03-Jan-24 to 07-Jan-24 2nd Test Cape Town
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