France manager Didier Deschamps has defended Olivier Giroud after home supporters booed the Arsenal striker during the 3-2 friendly victory against Cameroon on Monday night.
The 29-year-old scored Les Blues’ second goal of the night in Nantes as they continue their preparations to host the European Championship as one of the favourites to win the competition.
But Giroud was jeered through the match by disgruntled locals on a night when Dimitri Payet made the headlines, scoring his second free-kick in as many France games to secure a last-minute win.
He said: “You hear what you want. The whistles were unfair tonight, but in Biarritz, he was applauded. People can be conditioned.
“But Olivier scored again. When you say it, you are not helpful. You are free to say what you want but this is not necessarily the truth.”
Payet, the West Ham midfielder, enjoyed remarkable debut season in the Premier League and seems likely to be in Deschamps’ thoughts this summer.
“It’s been three weeks since he played,” he added. “This game was good for him, to get back into the pace. He can do better, but every time he touches the ball, there is something happening.
“And he has the quality of set-pieces, free-kicks, corners and it is something important. He is very important.”
Blaise Matuidi scored the opener for the hosts after 20 minutes before Vincent Aboubakar levelled for Cameroon.
Giroud restored France’s lead only for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to net an 87th-minute equaliser, setting it up for Payet’s dramatic injury-time winner.