Olivier Giroud spoke in a mix of English and Italian to MilanTV after signing the contract with the Rossoneri.
Milan signed Giroud from Chelsea on a two-year contract with an option for a third year as they wanted to add more quality and quantity to the squad of Stefano Pioli, who’ll be playing in the Champions League next season.
The Frenchman, who’ll begin training with his new teammates on July 26, was at Casa Milan to sign the papers and also to have his first interview as a Red and Black player:
“I feel like a little kid still at 35 – almost at 35 years old – because basically when I was young I looked up to Jean-Pierre Papin, Andriy Shevchenko and obviously Paolo [Maldini] and this team made me dream. I was also a big fan of Marco Van Basten and so many great players played in this massive club in Europe. Milan has a massive club history in Europe and that’s why I wanted to join the club to also play in the best competition in Europe – the Champions League – and I hope we can achieve great things with the team. I’ll also be close to my family because I come from Grenoble and I’m really excited, I’m looking forward to playing the first game.”
On the objectives: “I feel blessed to have had the opportunities to win trophies and play with big clubs and I think this [Milan] is a club which deserves to play at the highest level, fight for the title, the Scudetto in Serie A, we need to have a great tournament also in the Champions League so we want to play every single competition; I know there’s also the Cup [Coppa Italia] which is important for the tifosi [fans]. I basically spoke with Fik [Tomori] a few weeks ago and he said: ‘We are waiting for you to help us win the Scudetto’, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on everybody but obviously we want to play for the first place in the table.”
On the match he’ll never forget: “It’s easy to remember the one I can’t forget: the World Cup final. I was dreaming when I was young to win the World Cup like a lot of kids, so it was a great achievement and obviously I feel so proud and also blessed.”
On the goal he’ll never forget: “A goal I will remember? It’s also easy, the Scorpion kick with Arsenal and I won the Puskás Prize in front of legends of football, I had to speak in front of everybody and I will remember this also for all my life. We play football for that kind of emotion, and to also give emotions to the fans, to the tifosi and that’s why I’m looking for to give what I can do for the team and for the pleasure of the tifosi.”
On Maignan: “We were talking about me signing for Milan with Mike Maignan, I think he’ll become the first goalkeeper of the national team for sure, when Hugo Lloris will stop, he’s very talented.”
On the team: “I feel we have a strong team this year and I hope the team will improve and always give the best to reach our target.”
On his Italian origins: “It’s true that both my grandmothers were Italian, so I’m very proud of my Italian origins because I learned Italian in school also, I love the country, the gastronomy for me is amazing, just a bit behind French one [smiles] but it’s still good… no, I love it… and I’m looking obviously to discover the habits, the language also, and to discover the city, going with my family.”
On Serie A: “I’m very proud to have the opportunity to play for Milan and in Serie A, it’s a campionato [league] I looked up when I was young, so yeah… I feel very proud then also because my favorite player when I was a teenager was Sheva. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity to play like him for this massive club and to also mark the club history – I really hope that I will do it and that’s why I’m here.”
On Ibrahimović: “I played against Zlatan [Ibrahimović] a few times. I think, for me, when he’s still playing at almost 40 years old, I think he’s an exceptional professional. You cannot play until this age like that without a big commitment for the team, big determination; he’s looking after himself, his body. I try to do also that to enjoy football as long as my body allows it, so yeah… I think he’s an example basically for the youngsters. He’s one of the best strikers in Serie A and I’m looking forward to play alongside him and to enjoy training also and I think we’ll have fun. And I just want to win something with Milan and with Zlatan it’s even better, you know.”
On Pioli: “When I spoke for the first time to Mister Pioli, it was very simple, very natural, we had a very frank conversation. We were talking about tactics, we were talking about football in general, and I like the way he’s thinking about football and his ideas. I was following Milan last year and they had a great season and it’s also because the manager, Mister Pioli did a great job. I’m really happy to get in this train, which I believe and I hope, will keep this pace to the top of the league.”
Giroud then said in Italian: “Hey Rossoneri fans, I’m really happy to be here!” Before adding in English: “I will try to learn more Italian soon but trust me I’ll do my best and I hope we will enjoy this year.”