Olivier Giroud has revealed that he has sent a message of support to disgraced former France team-mate Patrice Evra.
The former Manchester United and Juventus left-back has been banned from all UEFA competition until June 30, 2018 after he kicked a supporter in the head prior to his Marseille side’s 1-0 defeat against Vitoria in the Europa League on November 2.
OM also took action against the veteran, releasing him from his contract at Stade Velodrome.
While it may spell the end of the 36-year-old’s distinguished career, Arsenal forward Giroud hopes that does not prove to be the case for a figure who was popular among the France dressing room since he debuted in 2004.
“I hope that he can bounce back,” the striker said after netting in his country’s 2-0 win over Wales on Friday.
“I’ve written him a message to send my support. We had five great years together with the national team and he has always been a leader. It’s difficult to speak of what he did, but it was instinct, something full of emotion. And I don’t understand very well how supporters can come so close to the pitch like that.
“He’s won numerous titles, he’s a great player. I hope he can rebound, rediscover his happiness and finish in a different manner.”
Steve Mandanda, who was a club-mate of Evra’s at Marseille and who started for France on Friday due to an injury to Hugo Lloris, would not pass comment on the matter.