Govou was not selected initially for the Euro 2004 or 2006 World Cup competitions, but was called up to join the French squads to replace players Ludovic Giuly and Djibril Cissé, respectively, both suffering injuries shortly before the start of the competitions. Govou scored two goals in France’s 3–1 win over world champions Italy in a Euro 2008 qualifier. The game was the first meeting between the two teams since Italy beat France in the 2006 World Cup Final. Govou scored his first goal by heading, just 67 seconds into the game. His second came in the 55th minute. Govou also represented his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Govou appeared in all three group games for France, as Les Bleus finished last in Group A and managed just one goal. Govou started against Uruguay and Mexico and came on as a late substitute against South Africa.