Joe Cole and Nigel de Jong rejoiced over the timeless quality of former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud.

Speaking on ITV, the pair of pundits purred with praise whilst discussing Giroud’s eternal class.

The 36-year-old has aged like a fine French wine, and tasted particularly delightful last night at the World Cup.

In the absence of the injured Karim Benzema, AC Milan’s experienced forward started up front for France against Australia.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Flanked by two speed demons in Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe, alongside Antoine Griezmann’s technical mind, Giroud had the supply chain to do some damage.

And damage he certainly inflicted.

Giroud’s golden goals for France

Just after the 30-minute mark, Adrian Rabiot surged into the Australian area and unselfishly set-up his senior teammate.

Giroud greatly tucked the ball into the open net to edge him closer to a national record.

At the start of play, he was two behind Thierry Henry’s tally of 51 goals for Les Bleus.

After reducing that margin by one, the ex-Chelsea attacker levelled Henry’s achievement in typically tenacious style.

Mbappe’s drive and eventual cross located Giroud’s head, who powered his effort past Mathew Ryan.

Now on-par with the Arsenal legend, France’s front man has plenty more chances to move above his compatriot.

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

“He’s doing a fantastic job. We have to give him credit. Equal to Thierry Henry for the top scorer of the France team at his age, 36,” said De Jong on Giroud’s achievement.

“He’s very underrated and if you look at the span of his career. We’ve got to give credit to him.”

“Do you know what you learn about Giroud, anyone who plays with him sings his praises. That’s the sign of a player!” continued Cole in the compliments.

Everyone loves Olivier

Even those who haven’t played alongside Giroud understand his worth.

Didier Drogba described him as ‘underrated’ following that record-equaling moment.

Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Sadly, Chelsea didn’t quite share the same sentiment as their iconic number 11.

Giroud was sold by the Blues to AC Milan last summer, where he has continued to impress despite suffering with a few injuries.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.