Giroud discusses renewal talks, January struggles, acrobatic goals and De Ketelaere’s struggles

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has confirmed that talks over his renewal are going well and he confessed the love that he had for the club growing up.

Giroud continues to be the leader of Milan’s attack even at the age of 36 as his goals last season proved absolutely decisive in the eventual conquest of the 19th Scudetto, ending an 11-year wait for one thanks to the 3-0 win over Sassuolo in which he scored a brace.

The Frenchman has a reputation for scoring big goals in big games such as his brace in the derby last February, the winner against Napoli, the equaliser against Lazio before the eventual last-minute Tonali goal and even this season that trend has continued.

Giroud was the latest guest in DAZN’s 1vs1 show and he spoke to the broadcaster about a number of topics from his love to Milan to the team’s current form, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

On Milan: “As a child I was always in love with Milan in Italy. I’m very happy and proud of what I’ve done up to now but I still want more.”

On the gesture before the kick-off: “I do it not only for important matches but in all matches. I’ve been praying and I’ve been doing it for 10/15 years and I still do it today. One thing I need to do before the match.”

On the team’s current moment: “We were all disappointed after January and we needed a game to react. We made it against Torino, Tottenham and Monza. We were not perfect, but we needed confidence and also the game with Atalanta will be crucial.”

What goal do you remember from this season:? “This season my mind goes to goal against Spezia. It was a crazy emotion because it was very important to win that match. It was 1-1 and I came in to score that goal. But I think and also in the first leg derby. I want to rediscover this quality in our team, we know we can do a lot but we want to experience this type of game.”

On his acrobatics: “It’s an instinctive thing but also something I worked on a lot in training. I like it. I’m flexible and I like to do the overhead kick, the volley. I studied with Van Basten, Papin and Sheva. Ibra? That’s true too (laughs), he’s very good with this type of finish.”

On Milan-Roma and the collapse: “I was substituted in the 85th minute and I thought I had done well and I had a smile. At that moment we could still dream of the Scudetto but after that match there was a turning point in the season. It hurts when I see these images, at the first opportunity for the opposing teams we conceded goals. We struggled to press together and be united. We were fearful.”

On the future: “We have to stay united. The goal is to continue at Milan and I hope to find an agreement. We’re talking and I think things will go the right way.”

On his embrace of De Ketelaere after his header against Tottenham: “In these difficult moments, you can see the support I can give to my partner. He needs this goal to change everything, as happened against Torino for the whole team, also because he had scored against Sampdoria but it was disallowed for my offside. I hope he scores against Tottenham in London.”

Who will win the top scorer? “Osimhen. He does everything right, he has very high confidence.”

The moment in your career you are most proud of? “Against Poland when I broke Henry’s record and became France’s top scorer”

Most beautiful stadium you’ve played in? “Tottenham.”

Strongest defender you’ve played against? “Virgil Van Dijk.”

Revelation team in Serie A? “Always difficult, maybe Torino. They’re tough on the pitch, but Napoli are also tough in the league and in the Champions League.”

The most painful defeat? “The Super Cup because it’s a trophy and I had lost the World Cup final just before.”

Your childhood idol? “God. My favourite player was Sheva. He wrote to me and became my friend. I celebrated my 100th cap for the national team against Ukraine when he was the coach.”

Tags AC Milan Olivier Giroud
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