Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele have been slammed by popular publication L’Equipe after their dismal displays in France’s World Cup final defeat to Argentina.
France were beaten on penalties by Lionel Scaloni’s side.
Les Bleus battled back from 2-0 down with ten minutes remaining to take the game to extra-time.
Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead in the second half of extra-time before Kylian Mbappe netted from the spot to take the final to a penalty shootout.
Mbappe had a night to remember, netting an unforgettable hat-trick to capture the Golden Boot, but it was not enough to see his country retain the World Cup.
Dembele and Giroud also had an unforgettable evening, but for all the wrong reasons.
The former gave away a penalty, fouling Angel Di Maria before Messi converted from 12 yards to open the scoring.
The Barcelona winger was abysmal, giving the ball away for fun before being substituted in the first half.
Didier Deschamps also hauled off France’s all-time top scorer Giroud after a bitterly disappointing opening half.
Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram replaced Dembele and Giroud in the 41st minute and made an impact in the second half.
Thuram assisted Mbappe’s equaliser after good work from Kolo Muani, who won a penalty two minutes prior, which the Paris Saint-Germain talisman converted.
Kolo Muani actually had the chance to win the game for France in the 124th minute, but was denied by Emi Martinez, who pulled off one of the most iconic saves of all time.
L’Equipe are notoriously very stingy when it comes to their player ratings, evident from their team of the tournament, which included Achraf Hakimi, who averaged a match rating of 6.0.
Mbappe received a 9/10 for his performance in the final, meaning he averaged 7.17 across the whole tournament, making him the only player to average above a 7/10.
Given their reputation for harsh ratings, it is no surprise to see Dembele and Giroud heavily criticised.
While Antoine Griezmann and Theo Hernandez received a 3/10, the French publication did not even see the need to give the first-half substitutes a rating. Ouch.
Writing about Dembele’s performance, L’Equipe said it was ’40 minutes unworthy of a World Cup final’.
Meanwhile, Giroud apparently ‘did not see the light of day’ against Argentina.
It is not very often a player doesn’t even receive a 1/10, which shows just how catastrophic their performances were, emphasised by Deschamps’ decision to hook them before half-time.
This might have been Giroud’s final World Cup, but he will remember it fondly despite his woeful experience on Sunday.
The former Arsenal and Chelsea striker became France’s all-time scorer, leapfrogging Thierry Henry after his goal against Poland in the last 16.
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