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Olivier Giroud

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Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Giroud playing for Arsenal in 2012
Personal information
Full name Olivier Giroud[1]
Date of birth (1986-09-30) 30 September 1986
Place of birth Chambéry, France
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 12
Youth career
1992–1999 Froges
1999–2005 Grenoble
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 Grenoble 23 (2)
2007–2008 Istres (loan) 33 (14)
2008–2010 Tours 61 (30)
2010–2012 Montpellier 73 (33)
2010 Tours (loan) 17 (6)
2012– Arsenal 76 (29)
National team
2011– France 35 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:00, 6 December 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of match played 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Olivier Giroud (French pronunciation: ​; born 30 September 1986) is a French footballer who plays for English club Arsenal in the Premier League and the France national team. He plays as a striker and is known for his size, physical style of play, heading ability, shot power, strength and link-up play.[3] He is also associated with making runs to the front post that outwit defenders.[4]

He began his career at Grenoble in Ligue 2 before joining Tours in 2008. In his second season at Tours, he was the division's top scorer with 21 goals, earning him a move to top-flight Montpellier. Giroud was again the top scorer with 21 goals in the 2011–12 season, giving the club their first ever Ligue 1 title. He then moved to Arsenal for an estimated £9.6 million.

Giroud made his full international debut for France in 2011. He has earned over 30 caps, and was part of the teams which reached the quarter-finals at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Early career

Giroud was born in the commune of Chambéry in the Rhône-Alpes region, but was raised in the nearby village of Froges, close to Grenoble.[5] Giroud began his football career playing for his hometown club Olympique Club de Froges. He spent six years training at the club before joining professional club Grenoble at the age of 13.[5]

Club career


Giroud spent five years developing in Grenoble's youth academy before signing his first professional contract at the age of 21. He later admitted that signing his first contract was an important part in his development as a player stating "It took me signing my first professional contract to become aware of my abilities. If you (a club) trusted me, it must know that I have some qualities".[6] Ahead of the 2005–06 season, he was promoted to the club's reserve team, which was playing in the Championnat de France amateur 2, the fifth level of French football. Giroud quickly became an important player in the team scoring 15 goals in 15 matches.[6] His performances over seven months with the reserve team resulted in the player being called up to the senior team in March 2006 by manager Thierry Goudet. Giroud made his professional debut on 27 March appearing as a late-match substitute in a 1–1 draw with Gueugnon in Ligue 2.[7] He remained a part of the senior team for the rest of the campaign making five more substitute appearances, scoring 45 goals.

Giroud was promoted to the senior team permanently for the 2006–07 season by new manager Payton Pouliquen and Nicola Malgeri and was assigned the number 22 shirt. After appearing as a substitute in the team's first league match of the campaign, he made his first professional start in a 2–1 defeat away to Niort playing the entire match.[8] On 26 February 2007, Giroud scored his first professional goal netting the injury time winner against Le Havre.[9] He described the goal as "a fantastic memory. I could not dream better for a first pro goal". A month later, Giroud made his third start of the campaign against Gueugnon. In the match, which ended 0–0, Giroud incurred his first professional red card.[10] He finished the campaign with 18 total appearances and two goals as Grenoble finished in fifth place.

Loan to Istres

In an attempt to earn some playing time, Giroud spent the 2007–08 season on loan at Istres in the Championnat National, the third level of football in France.[6] Under the tutelage of manager Frédéric Arpinon, he continued his development as a striker and, in his second match with the club, scored his first goal in a 2–1 win over Laval.[11] Two weeks later, Giroud scored goals in back-to-back matches against Vannes and Créteil.[12][13] He scored his first double of the season in a 2–0 win against Arles-Avignon.[14] A fortnight later, Giroud converted two goals again, this time in a 3–2 win over Pau.[15] After going through the months of November and December without scoring a league goal, Giroud returned to form in January scoring goals in a 3–2 defeat to Vannes and a 2–0 win over Beauvais.[16][17] He finished the campaign by scoring goals in April league fixtures against Paris and Martigues, which brought his total goal tally with Istres to 14.[18][19] Of the 14 goals, Giroud only scored four at the Stade Parsemain, Istres' home stadium.[20]

After a successful loan stint, Giroud returned to Grenoble with hopes of receiving some significant playing time as the club was now playing in Ligue 1. However, club manager Mehmed Baždarević, who was hired while Giroud was on his loan stint at Istres, deemed the player surplus to requirements and, subsequently, listed him for transfer. According to reports, Baždarević had declared that Giroud "did not have the level to play among the elite".[6] In 2011, Giroud reevaluated his departure from Grenoble stating "I am neither resentful nor vengeful. I am just disappointed with what happened to Grenoble when there was great potential".[6]


Giroud playing for Tours in 2010

On 28 May 2008, it was reported that Giroud had agreed to a three-year deal with Ligue 2 club Tours. The striker was lured to the club by sporting director Max Marty who had previously served as the chief executive officer of Grenoble, Giroud's former club.[6] Giroud was also fond of Tours' manager Daniel Sanchez stating "It's always a plus to have a former striker as a coach. His advice to me really helped a lot. With him, I progressed in my positioning and also in front of goal".[6] Giroud was given the number 12 shirt and, due to injury, made his club debut on 3 September 2008 in a 2–1 defeat to Boulogne in the Coupe de la Ligue.[21] He made his league debut a week later playing the entire match in a 1–0 win over Nîmes.[22] A month later, Giroud scored his first goal for the club converting the opener in a league match against Lens. In the second half, he scored another goal to cap a 3–1 win.[23] Two weeks later, Giroud scored his third goal for the club in a victory over Ajaccio.[24]

In the Coupe de France, Giroud scored five goals in two matches. In the eighth round of the competition, he scored the team's only goal in a 1–0 win over semi-professional club Pacy Vallée-d'Eure.[25] In the ensuing round against Réunionais club Jeanne d'Arc, Giroud scored four goals in a 7–1 win.[26][27] Tours would later be eliminated in the next round by Lorient.[28] After his four-goal display against Jeanne d'Arc, Giroud followed up the performance by scoring goals in back-to-back league matches against Montpellier and Metz.[29][30] After a double against Nîmes on 20 February 2009,[31] the striker suffered an injury, which forced him to miss three league matches. After making two substitute appearances on his return, in his first start since the injury on 3 April against Angers, Giroud scored the team's opening goal in a 3–1 win.[32] Giroud later re-aggravated the previous injury in training, which led to him missing the entire month of April as Tours were contesting a promotion battle with several clubs. Despite losing Giroud, the club went unbeaten in the four league matches he missed. On his return against Boulogne on 8 May, Giroud scored his final goal of the season in a victory.[33] In Tours' final three league matches of the campaign, the club failed to achieved a win, which resulted in the club failing to earn promotion to Ligue 1. Giroud finished the season with 27 total appearances and 14 goals.

In the 2009–10 season, Giroud was promoted to the lead striker role following the departure of Tenema N'Diaye to Nantes. The promotion immediately paid off as Giroud scored two goals in the team's opening match of the season; a 2–1 win over Le Havre in the Coupe de la Ligue.[34] On 18 August 2009, he scored his first league goal against the same opposition in another win.[35] Following another league goal in a win over Guingamp,[36] on 18 September, Giroud scored all four of Tours' goals in a 4–2 win over Arles-Avignon.[37][38] It was his second career four-goal match at the professional level and his third overall having had one at amateur level while playing with the Grenoble reserve team.[39] In the team's next 15 matches in all competitions, Giroud remained on form scoring ten goals. During that span, the striker scored in consecutive matches on three occasions. Giroud finished the fall campaign with 16 goals, 13 of which came in league play.[39]

On 26 January 2010, it was reported that Ligue 1 club Montpellier had signed Giroud from Tours on a three and a half-year deal.[40] The transfer fee was priced at €2 million and it was also announced that Montpellier would loan Giroud back to Tours until the end of the 2009–10 season.[40][41] The striker admitted the move to Montpellier would benefit him the most stating "I feel that here (Montpellier), the coach and staff will be able to help me make real progress. The environment is ideal, the training center is good, the group is healthy, and there's a beautiful stadium with an audience that responds to this".[42] Following the transfer, Giroud went three weeks without scoring a goal before converting one on 19 February 2010 in a win over Arles-Avignon.[43] Two weeks later, he scored the team's only goal in a 2–1 defeat to Nantes.[44] On 19 March, Giroud scored two goals in a shutout win against Châteauroux.[45] A week later, he scored in another shutout victory over Strasbourg.[46] After the goal against Strasbourg, Giroud went seven matches without scoring before netting on the final matchday of the season against Nîmes.[47] He finished the season with 42 appearances and 24 goals. Giroud scored 21 in the league and was named the league's top goalscorer. After the season, he was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 2 Player of the Year. Giroud was also named to the league's Team of the Year.[48]


Giroud officially joined Montpellier on 1 July 2010. He simultaneously made his club and European debut on 29 July in the first leg of Montpellier's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round with Hungarian club Győri ETO. In the match, Giroud scored his first goal for the club in the first half.[49] Montpellier won the match courtesy of Giroud's goal, but were defeated on aggregate after losing on penalties in the second leg.[50] Giroud made his league debut in the team's first match of the campaign; a 1–0 win over Bordeaux.[51] On 28 August, he scored his first league goal in a 1–0 away win against Valenciennes.[52] On 25 September, Giroud scored two goals in a home victory over Arles-Avignon.[53] The double brought his career goal tally to nine against the Bouches-du-Rhône-based club. A week later, he scored Montpellier's lone goal in a 3–1 loss to Lille.[54] In November 2010, Giroud scored game-winning goals in consecutive weeks against Toulouse and Nice.[55][56]

In the Coupe de la Ligue, Montpellier surprisingly reached the final of the competition.[57][58] In the semi-finals against Paris Saint-Germain, Giroud played the entire match, which went into extra time. In the 117th minute, he scored the match-winning goal to send Montpellier to its first major final since the 1993–94 season when the club reached the final of the Coupe de France.[59][60] In the 2011 Coupe de la Ligue Final, Montpellier faced Marseille and were defeated 1–0 courtesy of a goal by Taye Taiwo.[61][62] Giroud played the entire match.[63] Following his goal against Paris Saint-Germain, Giroud went scoreless for nearly two months before converting both club goals against the same opposition in a 2–2 draw at the Parc des Princes.[64] Towards the end of the league season, Giroud scored goals against title contenders Marseille and Lyon. However, Montpellier lost both matches.[65][66] After finishing the season as the club's top scorer, on 31 May 2011, Giroud signed a contract extension with Montpellier until 2014.[67]

Giroud began the 2011–12 campaign on form scoring in the team's first two league matches of the season against Auxerre and the defending champions Lille.[68][69] Montpellier won both matches. After scoring a double in a 2–2 draw with Brest,[70] French newspaper Le Parisien affectionately dubbed him le buteur de charme (the charm striker).[71] The nickname paid tribute to his goalscoring ability, as well as personality and looks and was, subsequently, used by several other media outlets in France to describe the player.[27][72] In the team's next 18 matches in all competitions, Giroud lived up to the nickname by scoring 13 goals. The impressive output consisted of hat-tricks against Dijon and Sochaux,[73][74] match-winning goals against Nancy, Lyon, and Nice, and a goal each in the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France.[75][76][77][78][79]

As a result of Giroud's performance and the team as a whole, Montpellier topped the league table in November 2011.[80] In January 2012, Giroud was linked with a transfer to several clubs. Montpellier's owner Louis Nicollin responded to the rumours on French radio station RTL and surprised many by deeming one club "not big enough" for Giroud, while also declaring that the striker would cost "at least €50 or €60 million".[81] At the start of the second half of the campaign, Giroud scored in back-to-back league matches against Lyon and Nice.[82][83] Two weeks later against Ajaccio, he assisted on Montpellier's second goal and scored the team's final goal in a 3–0 win.[84] On 24 March 2012, Giroud scored the only goal in the club's 1–0 win over Saint-Étienne.[85] The victory placed Montpellier at the top of the table and the club remained there for the rest of the campaign capturing its first league title in club history after beating Auxerre 2–1 on the final day of the season.[86] Giroud finished the season with a league-leading 21 goals and 9 assists. Despite being tied on goals with Paris Saint-Germain attacker Nenê, he was named the league's top scorer by the Ligue de Football Professionnel due to finishing with more goals in open play.[87]


2012–13 season

Giroud warming up for Arsenal in 2012

On 26 June 2012, Arsenal won the race to sign Giroud on a long-term contract for a fee believed to be around £9.6 million.[88] He was given the number 12 shirt.[89] He made his debut on 18 August 2012 as a substitute against Sunderland in the Premier League [90] and scored his first goal for Arsenal on 26 September, in a 6–1 win against Coventry City in the League Cup.[91] His first Premier League goal came on 6 October, with the equalizer in a 3–1 win against West Ham, in which he also assisted a Theo Walcott goal.[92] On 30 October, he helped Arsenal to a historic comeback in a League Cup tie against Reading, as Arsenal were 4–0 down before coming back to win the game 7–5 after extra-time, with Giroud scoring Arsenal's second goal.[93] Giroud scored his first UEFA Champions League goal for Arsenal in a 2–2 draw at Schalke 04 on the 6th November[94] and four days later he scored twice in a 3–3 draw at home to Fulham.[95] Giroud's form earned him a place in the Premier League team of the week.[96]

Giroud with Arsenal

On 17 November, Giroud continued his fine form by scoring the third goal in Arsenal's 5–2 derby win over Tottenham.[97] Four days later, Giroud assisted both Jack Wilshere's and Lukas Podolski's goals in Arsenal's 2–0 victory over former club Montpellier, which allowed Arsenal to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.[98] The Arsenal fans have warmed to Giroud as he has started to pick up form after a shaky start; a run of goals in consecutive games has led to a chant mimicking The Beatles' "Hey Jude" of 'Na na na, Na na naaaa, Na na naaaa, Giroud' echoing around the Emirates Stadium.[99][100] On 29 December 2012, Giroud scored a brace and hit the cross bar after coming on as a substitute for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 80th minute, as Arsenal beat Newcastle United 7–3 at the Emirates Stadium.[101]

On 6 January 2013, Giroud also provided an assist for Kieran Gibbs in the FA Cup third-round tie at Swansea, a match which ended 2–2.[102] In the replay of the match, Giroud turned provider again to assist the game's only goal by Jack Wilshere.[103] On 23 January, he scored a brace as Arsenal beat West Ham 5–1 in a league match.[104] He continued his goal-scoring form with another brace in a Man of the Match performance against Brighton & Hove Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup.[105][106] On 30 January, Giroud continued his form, as Arsenal fought back to earn a 2–2 draw, from 2–0 down at home to Liverpool. Giroud scored a header from a Wilshere free kick, and provided an assist for Theo Walcott.[107] For January, Giroud was awarded with the Arsenal Fan's Player of the Month Award.[108] Giroud netted his sixteenth goal for Arsenal on 30 March 2013, scoring Arsenal's third in the 4–1 home victory against Reading.[109] On 13 April 2013, Giroud played a big part of Arsenal's 3–1 win against Norwich City at home, winning a penalty that led to the equalizer in the 85th minute. He then sent Arsenal ahead himself two minutes later and set up for Lukas Podolski. This victory sent Arsenal to third in the table, climbing past London-rivals Chelsea and Tottenham.[110] He received his first red card for Arsenal against Fulham, which meant he would miss three of Arsenal's last four games of the season. He had his appeal rejected by the Football Association.[111] Giroud finished the season with 17 goals and 11 assists in 47 appearances.

2013–14 season

Giroud and Mesut Özil before kick-off against Southampton on 23 November 2013

After showing some good form in pre-season, he scored in the opening game of the Premier League season against Aston Villa, in a match which ended up as a 3–1 loss for Arsenal.[112] His next goal came later that week in the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahçe, a penalty kick for the team's third goal.[113] Four days later, he scored the opening goal against Fulham in the 3–1 victory for Arsenal.[114][115] He then scored the only goal in the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on 1 September.[116] He continued his streak by scoring a goal and assisting another in a 3–1 victory at Sunderland on 14 September. He failed to score any goals in Arsenal's next three matches but made a crucial assist on 28 September during the 2–1 victory over Swansea. Soon after, in the same week, Giroud scored against Serie A leaders Napoli in a 2–0 win, making it their 10th consecutive win.[117] Giroud had a couple of assists in the 4–1 win against Norwich City after the international break. Giroud then scored Arsenal's equaliser in the Champions League fixture against Borussia Dortmund which Arsenal went on to lose 2–1.[118] On 26 October, Giroud scored the second goal in a 2–0 win at Crystal Palace, keeping Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, and almost a month later scored a double against Southampton, following a mistake from the Saints' goalkeeper Artur Boruc, and then he converted a penalty in a 2-0 win. Giroud's last goal of 2013, and Arsenal's last of the year, came against Newcastle. His flicked header from Theo Walcott's free kick gave Arsenal a narrow 1–0 win and placed them at the top of the table going into 2014. This followed on from an assist to Lukas Podolski in the away match against West Ham, three days earlier (Boxing Day). He then scored on his return to the first team against Aston Villa after an ankle injury, a match that ended 2–1 in Arsenal's favour. He continued his goal scoring in a 4–0 win against Coventry City in the FA Cup. Four days later, he scored against Southampton (again) in a 2–2 draw. Almost a month later, he scored his 12th goal against Sunderland and his 13th Premier League goal of the season, within seconds of Lukas Podolski equalising, in 2–2 draw against Swansea City. On 8 March 2014, Giroud scored twice against Everton in the FA Cup quarter-final, helping Arsenal to a 4-1 win.[119] On 12 April 2014, Giroud scored one of the penalties in the shootout against Wigan Athletic to send Arsenal to the final of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.[120] On 17 May, Giroud started in the 2014 FA Cup Final as Arsenal beat Hull City 3–2 at Wembley Stadium.[121]

2014–15 season

Giroud was Man of the match as Arsenal opened the season with victory in the 2014 FA Community Shield

Giroud started the season by scoring the third goal in Arsenal 3–0 win against Manchester City in the 2014 FA Community Shield, a 25-yard shot which dipped over goalkeeper Willy Caballero, thus winning Giroud's second title for Arsenal. Despite only coming on as a half-time substitute, he was named Man of the match.[122] Shortly after scoring the equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Everton on 22 August, he broke his left tibia and was ruled out for four months.[123]

On 30 September 2014, his 28th birthday, Giroud signed a new contract at Arsenal, keeping him at the club until 2018 and increasing his weekly salary to £80,000.[124]

Giroud returned to action quicker than expected, replacing Aaron Ramsey for the last 13 minutes of a 1–2 home defeat against Manchester United on 22 November and scoring Arsenal's consolation goal in added time.[125]

International career

Giroud playing for France against Georgia on 22 March 2013.

Prior to representing the senior national team, Giroud did not earn any caps with the national youth teams. In 2001, he was called up to the under-16 team alongside the likes of Yoann Gourcuff, Yohan Cabaye, and Sylvain Marveaux by coach Pierre Mankowski to participate in a training camp held at the Clairefontaine academy.[126] After the camp, Giroud was not called up for the duration of the 2001–02 under-16 campaign.

On 3 November 2011, in an effort to reward Giroud for his performances domestically with Montpellier, national team coach Laurent Blanc named the striker in the squad to play in friendly matches against the United States and Belgium on 11 and 15 November 2011, respectively.[127][128] Giroud described the call up as "a childhood dream come true", while also stating it is "immensely satisfying and a privilege" to represent the national team.[129] He made his international debut in the match against the United States appearing as a substitute. France won the match 1–0.[130] Against Belgium, Giroud earned another cap appearing as a substitute as the match ended 0–0.[131] On 29 February 2012 Giroud scored his first career international goal in a 2–1 friendly victory over Germany. Three months later, he was named to the squad to participate in UEFA Euro 2012.[132] Two days prior to the announcement of the final squad, Giroud assisted on two goals in France's 3–2 friendly comeback win over Iceland.[133]

On 16 October 2012, Giroud equalised for France in their 1–1 draw against Spain in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Coming on as a substitute in the 88th minute, he scored a headed goal from a Franck Ribéry cross in the fourth minute of injury time.[134] Due to his goal against Spain and good form with Arsenal, Giroud, along with Arsenal team-mate Laurent Koscielny, received a call for France's tie against Italy on 14 November.[135] In the match, Giroud had a few chances, but then was substituted with five other players in the second half as France came back from behind to win the match 2–1.[136] Giroud scored twice and was named man of the match in a 6–0 win over Australia on 11 October 2013 in an international friendly.

On 13 May 2014, Giroud was named in Didier Deschamps' squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[137] After appearing as a second-half substitute in France's opening match against Honduras,[138] Giroud was named in the starting line-up for the team's second group fixture against Switzerland. He scored the opening goal of the match in the 17th minute to record his first FIFA World Cup goal and the 100th at the tournament in the French national team's history, as Les Bleus ran out 5–2 winners to qualify for the knockout stage.[139]

Personal life

Giroud has been married to Jennifer[140] since 2011. Their daughter Jade was born on June 18, 2013. Giroud is a Catholic, he has a tattoo on his right arm from Psalm 23 in Latin: "Dominus regit me et nihil mihi deerit" ("The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want"). He describes himself as a "very believing person [...] I don't cross myself before my games but I do a little prayer".[72][141] In February 2014, Giroud reportedly cheated on his wife with model Celia Kay.[142] After the incident, he issued an apology to his wife but later insisted that he had not committed adultery.[143] Wenger did not comment on the matter saying he wanted to "respect his privacy",[144] and his wife went back to France.

Career statistics


Giroud playing for Arsenal in 2013
As of 6 December 2014[145][146][147]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] League Cup[nb 2] Europe[nb 3] Other[nb 4] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Grenoble 2005–06 Ligue 2 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
2006–07 17 2 1 0 1 0 19 2
Total 23 2 1 0 1 0 25 2
Istres 2007–08 Championnat National 33 14 0 0 1 0 34 14
Total 33 14 0 0 1 0 34 14
Tours 2008–09 Ligue 2 23 9 2 4 1 0 26 13
2009–10 38 21 1 0 2 2 41 23
Total 61 30 3 4 3 2 67 36
Montpellier 2010–11 Ligue 1 37 12 1 0 3 1 2 1 43 14
2011–12 36 21 4 2 2 2 42 25
Total 73 33 5 2 5 3 2 1 85 39
Arsenal 2012–13 Premier League 34 11 4 2 2 2 7 2 47 17
2013–14 36 16 5 3 1 0 9 3 51 22
2014–15 6 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 8 3
Total 76 29 9 5 3 2 17 5 1 1 106 42
Career total 266 108 18 11 13 7 19 6 1 1 317 133


As of match played 4 July 2014.[148]
National team Year Apps Goals
France 2011 2 0
2012 12 2
2013 12 3
2014 9 4
Total 35 9

International goals

Scores and results list France's goal tally first.[149]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 29 February 2012 Weserstadion, Bremen  Germany
2 16 October 2012 Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid  Spain
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
3 22 March 2013 Stade de France, Saint-Denis Georgia
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
4 11 October 2013 Parc des Princes, Paris  Australia
6 27 May 2014 Stade de France, Saint-Denis  Norway
8 8 June 2014 Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve-d'Ascq  Jamaica
9 20 June 2014 Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil  Switzerland
2014 FIFA World Cup






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