FIFA World Cup

‘He scores a lot of goals’: France coach Deschamps set to stick with Giroud as striker

Giroud recently scored his 31st international goal, equalling the tally in a France shirt of Zinedine Zidane.

France coach Didier Deschamps spent part of his first day in Russia defending Olivier Giroud as the Chelsea forward battles to stave off stiff competition for places ahead of Les Bleus’ World Cup opener against Australia.

Giroud recently scored his 31st international goal, equalling the tally in a France shirt of Zinedine Zidane, but Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele has also staked his claim for a starting berth in attack with his form in the pre-tournament friendly matches.

“Don’t take any of Olivier’s quality away from him. He scores a lot of goals, and regardless of whether they are beautiful or not, they are still goals. He is a finisher, a goal-scorer with a different profile,” insisted Deschamps at France’s base in Istra, near Moscow.

Giroud should be fine for France’s opening Group C clash with Australia in Kazan on Saturday afternoon despite needing stitches in a head wound suffered in the 1-1 friendly draw with the United States in Lyon at the weekend.

“His head is fine. He has had six stitches so obviously as a precaution we need to make sure he doesn’t touch the ball with his head for at least the next 48 hours,” said Deschamps.

Rain greeted the French team as they trained for the first time in Russia on a pitch deep in the forest west of the capital, where Deschamps is fine-tuning his players ahead of their World Cup campaign.

He already admitted to French television on Sunday that Paul Pogba is almost certain to start against Australia despite criticism of his performances this season. N’Golo Kante will also play in the French midfield, but the other spot is up for grabs between Blaise Matuidi of Juventus and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.