Deschamps praises Griezmann's 'amazing spirit' following Giroud gesture

The Atletico Madrid forward’s decision to let his team-mate take France’s penalty earned praise from the side’s head coach

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France coach Didier Deschamps praised Antoine Griezmann after the forward let Olivier Giroud take his team’s penalty against Uruguay on Tuesday.

Griezmann had declared the match “special” for him, owing to his well-documented love of both France and Uruguay , and the Atletico Madrid star had the chance to be the hero on the night. 

But, after winning a penalty for his side, the 27-year-old turned the spot kick over to Giroud. 

Giroud converted the penalty to give the World Cup champions a 1-0 friendly win at the Stade de France, and after the match Deschamps heaped the praise on his star man for his “exceptional” team spirit. 

“Antoine is… I was about to say too kind, but not here. He has such amazing team spirit, it’s exceptional,” Deschamps told a news conference.

“He is always working for the team, and even in a difficult game like on Friday against Netherlands, he tried so hard, he gave all he could.

“We had a situation where he wanted to help Olivier. This gesture shows the wonderful spirit and the sense of teamwork we have at the moment within the group.”

While it was Giroud’s fourth international goal of the year, he has struggled for Chelsea this season.

The 32-year-old has scored just once in 12 games, including not yet netting in nine Premier League matches.

Giroud also featured in all seven of France’s matches at the World Cup in Russia, but failed to find the net as his side claimed the title. 

France failed to make their way to the Nations League finals, finishing second in League A Group 1 behind Netherlands. 

They’ll now turn their attention to Euro 2020 qualifying, with France placed in Pot 1 for the qualifying draw, which is set to take place December 2. Qualifying is set to begin in March of next year. 

But the win over Uruguay closed out what will always be a memorable year for France, though it did come at a bit of price, with young superstar  Kylian Mbappe picking up an injury to his shoulder .