It was expected, it is now official. At 34, Olivier Giroud will discover a new championship. The center forward left Chelsea to officially engage, Saturday, July 17, with AC Milan, vice-champion of Italy.
Revealed late, the athletic Chambérien (1.92 m, 88 kg) has woven the thread of an atypical career by elbowing his elbows, his head held high despite the hollows, sending back the image of a ‘needy’ and respectful striker , faithful to his dreams and his beliefs in the club and in the French team.
The 2018 world champion will now rub shoulders in attack with another renowned veteran, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (39), alongside whom he will have to impose his mind of steel, driven by an always fierce appetite, forged by a winding but happy course.
‘I’m starting a new journey with a light and happy heart,’ he tweeted on Friday, in English, to announce to supporters his departure from Chelsea where he was not in the plans of Thomas Tuchel, the coach of the London club .
To all the Blues, to my teammates, to all my coaches, to the whole club, a huge thank you for these special moments
I’m starting a new journey with a light and happy heart. Our victories in Fa Cup, Europa League and Champions league have been magnificent.
Love Oli G .pic.twitter.com/HytVlp0uYx
– Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_)July 16, 2021
First, an English dream
Olivier Giroud studied in Grenoble (L2), which could not detect the talent in him, then a notch below, in Istres, in the National, before taking off after two seasons in Tours, where the best L2 scorer with 21 goals opened the doors to the elite.
It was in 2010, Olivier Giroud was 23 years old and finally found the shoe to his feet, disembarking in Montpellier. ‘We have a bit of the same background with Montpellier, a club that suits me well. Even if he has a great history, he struggled to get back to Ligue 1 ‘, then explains Giroud.
In Hérault, he quickly dons the superhero cape. With 21 goals scored during the incredible 2011/12 season, he finished at the top of the scorers’ standings and offered Louis Nicollin’s club a first French league title.
Impossible then for the president of the Montpellier club to retain a jewel which, upon his arrival, proclaimed his dream: ‘If I can play in England, I will go swimming if necessary. The atmosphere, the fans, the state of mind: people love their club there, whether they win or lose. ‘
Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger, seduced, made him cross the Channel. He will stay there for 5 and a half years.
Forty-six goals for France
In the France team, the one who had his first selection in 2011 against the United States at 25 became the second best artificer in history (46 goals, 110 selections) over a turbulent career. The public has sometimes made him pay for the sidelining of his competitor Karim Benzema, in a totally ‘unfair’ way according to Didier Deschamps.
The indisputable holder of the 2018 World Cup, which he finished scoreless but having played an essential role for the team, is however condemned to the bench with the Blues in 2021, as in Chelsea. He took advantage of Benzema’s injury exit to score a double against Bulgaria (3-0) just before the Euro.
‘My friends call me the Grenoble phoenix. It’s a compliment, it means that whatever the circumstances, I won’t let go, ‘he said after the game.
Two days before, this close to the captain Hugo Lloris affirmed that to be holder remained an ‘objective’. ‘I am a needy person, I will do everything to get there, but never to the detriment of the collective. It’s a goal but it doesn’t obsess me in any way. ‘ In four matches at the Euro, he will play less than an hour.
In Milan, the phoenix Giroud will be in search of a new resurrection.