Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has said France’s defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final left “a little scar tissue in our hearts.”
Giroud scored three goals to help the hosts reach the final, but they were beaten 1-0 after extra time in Paris.
But the forward said the national team had generated a positive reaction in a country that had been stunned by the terrorist attacks on the capital in November.
“We really wanted to do a good tournament to give them pleasure and to see their smile back,” Giroud told the Arsenal Weekly podcast.
“A lot of people told me it was an amazing tournament and a lot congratulated us and myself and said bravo and thank you.
“I’ve been touched by this, and we are very proud of what we achieved during this Euros, even if we will still have a little scar tissue in our hearts because we didn’t win it. But it was an amazing moment for me.”
Giroud scored the opening goal of the tournament in France’s 2-1 win over Romania, adding two more in the 5-2 victory over Iceland in the quarterfinals.
Those performances helped him win over a sceptical crowd, many of whom were upset that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema had been left out of the squad.
Giroud was booed by some supporters in France’s warmup games and said his goal in the opening game had been crucial.
“The different memories I have from this Euros will be in my head until the end of my life,” he added.
“But this first goal was an amazing moment for me, lots of goosebumps when I scored,” he said. “After, there was the game against Iceland. I was very pleased to have a great tournament.”