AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has named Paolo Maldini as the missing piece of the Rossoneri’s attempts to reach the top of Serie A.
The French forward has regularly made it clear that he is a Milan fan and had been following the club’s progress very closely whilst at his previous clubs.
Speaking during an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, he labelled technical director Paolo Maldini as the missing piece that the club have now found.
“It hurt me to see the club in this situation with Juventus far ahead. In my humble opinion, when Milan were not competitive, there was one person the club was missing, and that person turned out to be Paolo Maldini,” he said.
“He’s an ultra-present manager, he’s there every day at training, that means the coach is doing his job, but the management is also there watching.”
Speaking further about the esteem that he holds the entire club in, Giroud went on to say: “This is an institution, nothing is left to chance. In fact, a player can’t say he doesn’t play because the coach doesn’t like him.
“If he is good in training and competitive, the coach sees that. And for me that’s a great thing, because I train the way I play, 100%.”
Giroud’s crowning moment this season came when he scored twice against Inter to turn the game around and win the Derby della Madonnina. Should the Rossoneri clinch the title, many will view that game as the turning point in the season.
“I couldn’t have dreamt of anything better, the setting of the match, my first derby, I scored in front of the Curva Sud, it allowed me to quickly enter the hearts of the Milanese,” Giroud said.
Speaking about his arrival in Italy, Olivier Giroud explained that whilst his dream had always been to play in England, Milan were the Serie A team that he always wanted to play for.
“I always said that my dream was to play in England. But in Italy, it was Milan. Shevchenko was my favourite striker. I also watched a lot of Marco van Basten’s videos.”
Despite this, he almost moved to Inter instead: “It was quite inevitable given my history. I was close to signing for Inter but God did well. I had to wait a bit, be patient and in the meantime I won the Champions League [with Chelsea in 2021].
“I knew the Premier League, even though it is the most difficult league, for 15 years. When I spoke to my agent, I didn’t see myself in Spain or Germany and a return to France wasn’t my priority. So Milan was the icing on the cake.”