Olivier Giroud said he thinks ‘we will have fun’ after signing with Milan and praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic and coach Stefano Pioli. ‘I just want to win something with the Rossoneri’.
The former Arsenal and Chelsea striker has moved to Milan ahead of 2020-21 and revealed he was following the Diavolo when he was little.
“I still feel like a little kid 35, or almost 35 years old,” Giroud told MilanTV. “When I was young, I looked up to Jean-Pierre Papin, Andriy Shevchenko and obviously Paolo [Maldini].
“This team made me dream. I was also a big fan of Marco van Basten. So many great players have played in this massive club in Europe.
“Milan have a massive history in Europe and that’s why I wanted to join the club. Also to play in the best competition in Europe, in the Champions League, and I hope we can achieve great things with the team.
“I will be closer to my family as well, because I come from Grenoble. I’m really excited, I’m looking forward to play the first game.”
Giroud arrives at Milan after nine years in England, first with Arsenal and then at Chelsea, where he won the Europa League and the Champions League. Now, he embarks on a new adventure in Serie A and aims to win the Scudetto.
“I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to win trophies, playing for big clubs,” Giroud continued. “I think Milan is a club that deserves to play at the highest level.
“To fight for the Scudetto in Serie A and to have a great tournament in the Champions League too. We want to play in every competition, I know that there’s the Coppa Italia too, which is very important for the tifosi [fans].”
“I spoke with Fik [Fikayo Tomori] a few weeks ago and he said: ‘we are waiting for you to help us win the Scudetto’.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on everybody, but we obviously want to be the protagonists.”
Giroud was asked if there’s a game that he remembers especially well and revealed the World Cup Final against Croatia in 2018 was the highlight of his career.
“One game that’s easy to remember, that I can’t forget, is the World Cup Final,” he added. “When I was little, I was dreaming of winning the World Cup, like a lot of kids.
“It was a great achievement and I of course feel so proud and also blessed.”
Milan have replaced Gianluigi Donnarumma with former LOSC Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan and Giroud believes the shot stopper has a great future with both the club and his nation.
“I spoke to Mike Maignan about the arrival at Milan,” he said. “When Hugo Lloris stops, I think he will become the first choice for France.
“He’s very talented, I feel we have a strong team this year. I hope the team will improve and that we will always give our best to reach our targets.”
The soon-to-be 35-year-old then revealed he has Italian roots.
“It’s true that both my grandmothers were Italian,” he continued. “I’m very proud of my Italian origins, because I learned Italian at school, I love the country.
“The gastronomy is amazing, just a bit behind the French one, but it’s still good. No, I love it, and I’m looking forward to discovering the habits, the language, the city, going sightseeing with my family.”
Giroud, capped 110 times by France, revealed he’s ‘proud’ to get the opportunity to represent the Rossoneri.
“I’m very proud to be able to play for Milan and also in Serie A,” he continued. “A championship that I admired when I was young.
“I also feel proud because my favourite player when I was a teenager, was Sheva. And I’m lucky to have the opportunity to play, like him, for this massive club and to write history.
“I really hope I will do it and that’s why I’m here.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to Milan in January 2020 and has been the leader both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
Giroud looks forward teaming up with the Swede and spoke about his previous experience facing the 39-year-old.
“I have played against Zlatan a few times,” Giroud said. “To be playing at almost 40 years old, I think he’s an exceptional professional.
“You can’t play until that age, like that, without a big commitment for the team and great determination.
“He’s looking after himself and his body. I try to do the same to continue to enjoy football for as long as my body allows me.
“I think he’s an example for the youngsters, he’s one of the best strikers in Serie A and I’m looking forward to play alongside him. And enjoy training too, I think we will have fun.”
“I just want to win something with Milan, and with Zlatan it’s even better, you know.”
Giroud revealed Pioli gave him a great first impression and looks forward to start working with his new coach.
“When I spoke for the first time to Mr. Pioli, it was very simple and natural,” he revealed. “We had an honest conversation.
“We were talking about tactics and football in general. I like the way he’s thinking about football and his ideas.
“I was following Milan last year and they obviously had a great season, it’s also because of Mr. Pioli, who did a great job.
“I’m really looking forward to start training.”
Image credit: @ACMilan on Twitter
Meet the Boss, @_OlivierGiroud_ #NewPlayerUnlocked #SempreMilan pic.twitter.com/EntX7r6ug4
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 17, 2021