Giroud hopes 'living legend' Henry manages France some day

WORLD CUP 2018 | GRAEME SOUNESSJuly 8 2018 12:01am The Sunday Times Brilliant Belgium bound for final at expense of no-frills France Graeme Souness

They may have just booked their place in the World Cup semi-finals, but Thierry Henry and Eden Hazard were quickly on hand to comfort Neymar after Belgium beat Brazil.

France will go into their World Cup semi-final against neighbours Belgium with a "hunger to win" and a desire to show their 1998 World Cup victor Thierry Henry that he picked the wrong side, forward Olivier Giroud said.

"When France were world champions in 1998", Giroud said on Sunday, "I think [Christophe] Dugarry scored one goal and [Stephane] Guivarc'h not at all".

"When I was playing against Monaco he had only played about 10 matches".

In fact, Giroud has failed to even get any of his 13 shots on target thus far - the most off-target shots a player has had at a World Cup since 1966. "As long as we win, that's fine with me".

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Henry looked dejected in the dug-out but spent plenty of time congratulating the France players for their victory and progression to the final.

"They have a great team, but we do too", he said.

Giroud said Henry could coach France in the future and that working with Belgium would help the 40-year-old gain experience in his new career as a coach. The team labeled the "golden generation" because of the amount of talent inherent. But we mustn't be jealous, or anything, about that. My job is to be good on the pitch, to represent France as well as possible.

"It's been a few years now that he said certain things in the media, before going back on his words or at least changing them", Giroud said.

Still, Kevin Miles of the Football Supporters Federation expects between 5,000 and 7,000 fans for Wednesday's semifinal against Croatia, but admits "a lot of people are doing it last minute, so it's very hard to put numbers on it".

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