Milan striker Giroud on Pioli: “From our first phone call I knew it would work”

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan striker has said that he knew he could work well at Milan after his first phone call with Stefano Pioli.

Speaking during a recent interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Giroud discussed a range of topics around his career and his first full season as a Rossoneri player.

Giroud has become a very important player for Milan this season in the absence of the regularly injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

His crowning moment came when he scored twice in 10 minutes against Inter to turn the derby around and swing the momentum of the title race in Milan’s favour.

It is clear that he has a very strong relationship with Milan coach Stefano Pioli which was formed when they had their first phone call.

“I didn’t know him very well, but from our first phone call I knew it would work. He makes his team work well tactically,” he said.

“He’s also a manager who knows how to get the best out of his players. The way he speaks to us couldn’t be clearer. When he expresses himself, it comes from the heart, from the depths of himself. Everything he says, he says with sincerity.”

Giroud was part of the Montpellier team that shocked Ligue 1 by winning the title in 2011/12 and he feels there are similarities between that coach and Pioli.

“It reminds me of the grit that René Girard wanted to instil in us at Montpellier. I’ve always liked coaches who are emotional, but that wasn’t the case with Wenger, who had countless other qualities.”

Training at Milan

“I was pleasantly surprised by the intensity of the training sessions. I like running, but sometimes I end up getting exhausted. Serie A is becoming competitive again, there isn’t just one team like when Juventus won all the time.”

Learning Italian

“From the first day I spoke Italian. The coach wants us to speak Italian in the matches so that everyone understands each other.”

His relationship with Italy

“I was 20 years old, I had grown my hair long, I wanted to be like Cannavaro or Nesta. My brother gave me the blue jersey, the tight Kappa one with that wonderful blue.

“Also, since France wasn’t there, I supported Italy at the 1994 World Cup and cried when Roberto Baggio missed the penalty kick in the final. However, in the 2006 final, I was 100% for Les Bleus.”

The recent Champions League campaign

“I was only at 70% fitness, when you know what this competition represents for this club it’s hard.

“We have a score to settle next year, we lost four games by a single goal, I can’t wait to go back next year.”

The Scudetto fight

“There was a lot of work to do! I didn’t pretend to play for the title and the goal was to qualify for the Champions League again. But we are Milan, and with the positive results we are getting, the goal has become the Scudetto in my head.”


“There are also many believers in England, but here I see many players praying before games and that’s something I appreciate. At Easter we had a barbecue with our families, we respect religious traditions. And then, well, the Derby della Madonnina, that alone sums it up.”

Tags AC Milan Montpellier Olivier Giroud Stefano Pioli
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