Ahead of the game between AC Milan and Hellas Verona, a long interview with Olivier Giroud has been released. Amongst other things, the striker spoke about the current season, defending the Scudetto and facing Chelsea.
Giroud has been a very important player for Milan this season, forced to work overtime due to the injuries of Divock Origi, Ante Rebic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He has played in all of the 13 games thus far, starting in 11 of them.
Speaking in a long interview with RMC Sport, Giroud shared his thoughts on how Milan have started the season. He also spoke about the Scudetto, how it was to face Chelsea again and the special feeling within the team.
On the start of the season…
“Collectively speaking, we have started well this season. We are satisfied with this post-Scudetto reaction. This is the year of confirmation, the most difficult year in general. We expect more and more difficult matches, especially since we play every three days. We have to be ready, we have the squad to perform this year but we are not spared from injuries like many other teams.”
On the Champions League…
“We are really well-placed in the league, three points behind the leader. In the Champions League, we still have our destiny in our hands, we will have to win our two games. On a personal level, I’m happy with what I’ve achieved, we have to continue like this.”
On playing a lot…
“It’s true that I played 11 games as a starter, something that hadn’t happened to me for a while. We have the possibility of rotations but we were not spared from injuries. I had to go on, but I feel very good physically. I have responsibilities in this team and I feel very good so I hope it will continue.”
On Ibra’s absence…
“The fact that Ibra isn’t there, even though he’s present at home games and is important in the dressing room, my role is to take charge and be there for the youngest if they need it. It’s a role that I like, as a big brother, I do it very willingly. I try to lead by example.”
On defending the Scudetto…
“Of course, we want to defend our title. We know that this year is even more difficult because teams like Juve, Napoli or Inter have strengthened a lot, not to mention Roma, Atalanta, and Lazio. There are many teams that can claim this Scudetto but we are off to a good start compared to our direct opponents. Napoli seems to me to be in great shape, it’s really the team that has made the biggest impression on me at the start of the season.”
On the Chelsea games…
“We were keen, especially Tim (Bakayoko), Tomori and myself, who played at Chelsea, to make a big impression in this double confrontation. The fact is, even if I’m not going to hide behind it, we had four or five starters absent. At this level, it must be taken into account, but we had the group to compete with Chelsea.
“We had a bit of a non-match there, we wanted to make up for it in the return match. The red card pulled the rug out from under our feet a little, even though we started the match very well. It’s a shame to concede this red which for me is very hard to accept.
“We were very disappointed, and that’s why we are very motivated to finish the last two games well. We know that if we win these meetings, we will progress to the next round. It’s good to have destiny in our own hands.”
Maignan and Leao are nominated for the Ballon d’Or, do you talk about it in the locker room?
“No, we don’t talk about it more than that. They are aware of what they achieved last year with this Scudetto, they are part of the typical best Serie A XI, whether it’s Theo, Rafa or Mike. They are still young, they have this room for improvement, they are at the top level.”
Giroud will most likely play from start against Verona tomorrow, eager to prove himself after what was two poor games against Chelsea from him. He can do much more, and at least now the likes of Rebic and Origi can give him some rest.