Most thought Iceland had done exceedingly well in just qualifying for the quadrennial event but they pulled off a surprising draw with Portugal in the first game and then ousted England from the round of 16.
Benzema's global exile due to being under investigation for his part in an alleged plot to blackmail France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena left Arsenal's Giroud as Didier Deschamps' first-choice striker - a status that has not always rested easily with critics and fans alike.
"That is how to deal with defeat, Iceland you are a complete credit by showing football supporters over the world how to behave", said one viewer.
Iceland have made their mark.
"It will be a great match, we have a lot of desire to get our own back for the World Cup". But this was France's night, and they've set up a mouthwatering semi-final with Germany.
However, Halldorsson hailed Iceland's "fantastic journey" from whipping boys to serious contenders on the European stage over the past decade. It's magnificent, we must make the most of this moment. We weren't using our brains, we didn't play our normal way. "Sadly it ended tonight".
"Antoine had a tricky start to the tournament".
The nations last met in a friendly in November a year ago, with France winning 2-0 in Paris in a clash marred by terrorist attacks in the city.
"Germany are the best side in Europe and the world".
"It's really impressive that the players turned it around as they did and I don't think it was because France let us do that".
"I will take the time to reflect on it", Deschamps said.
Sigurdsson was the only Premier League player in the 23-man Icelandic squad, but he believes many more of his compatriots deserve a chance to ply their trade in the world's richest league. The prevailing sense that the two best teams in this competition are meeting a round too soon will only add to the drama in Zinedine Zidane's home town. A 4-0 lead at the break effectively sealed their passage to the semi-finals, with Iceland fully aware that their unlikely dream was on the brink of ending. With all the fans coming here and what we heard from back home, and all the positivity and interest - I feel it deep in my heart.
"It's not long until we start again with the World Cup". We surely saw the latter come up in the scoresheet. "I think the future is pretty good", said Lagerback.