Last Tuesday France did something incredible - turning around a 2-0 deficit from the first leg against Ukraine in the FIFA World Cup play-offs to qualify for Brazil 2014.
But Didier Deschamps rung the changes for the second leg - with Raphael Varane, Yohan Cabaye, Mamadou Sakho and of course Karim Benzema coming in to the team.
The Real Madrid man came in for Olivier Giroud after the two seemed to swap form from the start of the season in the lead up to the game.
Giroud was not in the best of nick - while Benzema has started to find the net regularly for Real Madrid recently.
And it was a ploy that seemed to do the job - as Benzema scored one of the goals in a 3-0 win for France.
Giroud is now looking like being second choice for his country- behind a player that Arsene Wenger recently admitted it ‘would not be a good idea’ to sign despite apparent interest in his signature.
Giroud has addressed the decision to leave him on the bench in the French press this weekend, and he seemed fairly understanding on the matter:
"Some players had tears in their eyes …we really had the feeling of accomplishment of having done well and have somehow made it up to the French people who backed us. Benzema starter? Deschamps told me that tactically he preferred him starting in this one. Obviously, it was a big disappointment for me because I always prefer to play. But I understood his choice and I appreciated his approach…”
Giroud faces a battle to regain his place with Les Bleus now - but the logical decision from Deschamps will always be to go with the in-form striker. Throughout the campaign each will likely enjoy peaks and suffer troughs in their performances.
The real question will be who goes into the end of the season in the best form - as they will lead the line for Les Bleus at the World Cup.
Giroud bagged two goals against Southampton yesterday - which will do his confidence the world of good. He now has to keep up that form if he is to remain France’s number one choice up front.
image: © Julien Haler