Giroud back in the France team after Benzema’s package

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AC Milan's Olivier Giroud, right, runs with the ball as Empoli's Sebastiano Luperto falls to the ground during the Serie A football match between AC Milan and Empoli at San Siro stadium, Milan, Italy Italy, Saturday, March 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

AC Milan’s Olivier Giroud, right, runs with the ball as Empoli’s Sebastiano Luperto falls to the ground during the Serie A football match between AC Milan and Empoli at San Siro stadium, Milan, Italy Italy, Saturday, March 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

PA

AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has been called up to the France squad for the next friendlies as a replacement for injured Karim Benzema.

The French football federation said on Saturday that Benzema had been ruled out with a left calf injury.

As part of their preparations for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, the defending champions will face Ivory Coast in Marseille on March 25. They will then face South Africa in Lille four days later.

Benzema, who plays for Real Madrid, was injured in a Spanish league game against Mallorca on Monday. He scored two goals and an assist in the 3-0 win.

It is the first time that French coach Didier Deschamps has selected Giroud since the European Championship last year. He scored 46 goals in 110 appearances for France.

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