AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has spoken at length about his arrival at the club, some of his team-mates and the strength of the squad.
Giroud was interviewed by elevensports together with Alexis Saelemaekers and began by discussing what it is like to show up to Milanello for training each day, and how it helps in the preparation for games, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“Thanks to being first in the standings, you can breathe great serenity and confidence. When the results are positive, everything is easier. We must maintain this spirit in every match to continue our journey in the best possible way,” he said.
Giroud was linked with a number of different clubs before he eventually arrived at Milan, with an intermediary even claiming that Inter were in the running for him, but he is very pleased with the decision he made.
“I was helped in settling by the French speakers. Besides, I am a rather sociable person, so we socialised well, we have the same way of thinking. My adaptation was favoured by all this.”
He did the interview alongside his team-mate Alexis Saelemaekers, and he spoke about the character of the Belgian and what he brings to the squad, one which is very young and has ample room for growth.
“He knows what I think of him, all the esteem I have for him and the talent he is. We are a group with many young talents and there is a good chemistry between the youngest and the most experienced players,” Giroud added.
“I’m here also to be a brother that the youngest can count on. It is important to have young people with their heads on their shoulders and who already have a certain maturity at their age, such as Saelemaekers. It is easier this way to improve in training with them. And then they know very well where they want to go and give their best.
“We received the same education. I had the opportunity to meet Alexis’ parents who made me think this. We have many points in common, we have the right mindset and our feet on the ground. We know where we want to go and that we have to give everything. Despite the difficulties, the moments of doubts that may exist, the important thing for us is daily life.”
Giroud has not always had things go smoothly in his career such as finding himself largely as a bench player at Chelsea and also suffering a couple of injury setbacks early in his time at Milan.
“The reactions to this moment can be two: feeling sorry for yourself or having a winning reaction and overcoming the difficulties. This is a bit of my trademark, these things strengthen the character. I try to convey this also to others to make them understand that it is important to have the technical qualities, but also the steel mind to face difficult moments.”
The 35-year-old is also now earning a reputation as being a man for the big occasion given his derby-winning brace and the winner against Napoli.
On big-match goals, he added: “A striker is always in the spotlight. They expect you to be decisive in every game. There was a time when I didn’t score and I had less positive votes in the papers.
“It’s not something I watch a lot, but they still come to our ears. It’s part of the game. I’m 35 years old, I’m quite experienced and I know that in these moments you just have to stay focused. The key thing is to be decisive in the important moments for the team. Us we always do our best to achieve our goal of becoming champions.”
On the Rossoneri squad: “Despite the young age of this group, there is great maturity. Guys like Ibrahimovic and other experienced players are here to bring serenity and tranquility.”
Finally, on Ibrahimovic: “It’s incredible. His career, his longevity, his determination to remain at high levels, the desire to do more and more, is extraordinary for a 40-year-old player. In 5 years my knees, my ankles and my back will not allow me to score again. So great respect for Ibra.”