Olivier Giroud, France
Olivier Giroud has scored 57 goals for France since making his debut for the national team in Nov. 2011 Via @equipedefrance on X/Twitter

SEATTLE - In what is starting to look like a trend for the MLS, LAFC is just details away from closing a deal with veteran French striker Olivier Giroud, a Russia 2018 World Cup winner. According to famed sources like Fabrizio Romano and The Athletic, the MLS club reached a verbal agreement with the striker that would see Giroud put an end to his AC Milan career.

This strategy has become prominent recently, with Inter Miami bringing three World Cup winners to play in Major League Soccer: Lionel Messi and former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba all joined the South Florida team.

But even though signings of the kind seem to have spiked in recent months, this is not the first time MLS clubs decide to take this approach. Throughout history, a total of 15 former World Cup winners have played at least one game in MLS, with LAFC goalkeeper Hugo Lloris being the latest to make the switch to the United States.

Latinos have been well represented, with six of the 16 former World Cup winners coming from South American countries. Messi and fellow teammate Thiago Almada joined the list in 2022 as Argentina won the World Cup for the first time since 1986. The other four are all Brazilians that were part of that golden generation that won two World Cup titles between 1994 and 2002.

Former World Cup Winners That Played In MLS - Latino Descent






Thiago Almada

Lionel Messi















French influence

Just like there have been multiple Latinos, the French are not too far behind. Youri Djorkaeff was the first one to make the move across the Atlantic when he joined the New York Red Bulls in 2005. The 1998 World Cup winner played 45 games for the Red Bulls before calling it a career.

A few years later, Thierry Henry followed his former teammate's footsteps and arrived to the Red Bulls, where he helped the team win its first-ever major trophy, the 2013 Supporters' Shield. He quickly became one of MLS' best players and finished his career in the U.S. having played in 135 games for the Red Bulls in all competitions. Four years were enough for Henry to leave a mark, scoring 52 goals and assisting in 42 more during his time at the club.

LINK 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SL3Yuu8DKs
Caption: Thierry Henry's top 5 MLS goals

Before Lloris' arrival to LAFC, Blaise Matuidi was the last player to try his luck in American soccer. The 2018 World Cup winner was one of Inter Miami's first big signings, arriving as a Designated Player in the Summer of 2022. Although his time in MLS was brief, he managed to play 47 games for the Herons and scored two goals for the club.

If LAFC can close a deal with the Italian giants, Giroud would put an end to a fantastic European career that saw him score more than 200 goals for clubs in France, England and Italy. Giroud became France's all-time top scorer during the 2022 World Cup, netting his 52nd goal against Poland to surpass Thierry Henry's mark with 'Les Bleus.'

So far this season, the Frenchman has been in top form with Milan, leading the team with 14 goals in all competitions to go along his nine assists in 36 games played. Ever since arriving to Serie A in 2021, Giroud has managed to score 10+ goals in each of his three seasons there.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.