Olivier Giroud has launched his first book and then spoke to the press about various topics.
Oli returned to training this week after the summer break, which was extra joyful for him, as he spent it as a Champion of Italy.
Giroud was at Casa Milan on Thursday afternoon to present is new book: “Crederci, sempre. Perché ho fiducia nella vita, in Dio, in me stesso e nel destino”, which translates to “Believe, always. Because I have faith in life, in God, in myself and in destiny”.
Giroud, accompanied by presenter and journalist Alessandro Alciato spoke to the press and answered some questions. He began by explaining the motivation for writing this book:
“I wanted to write this book. The writer of a book about Deschamps contacted me because he wanted to write a book about my life; I took some time to reflect on it. It is a bit strange because I’m still an active player but in the end I decided to write it; I thank the writer: we did a great job together.”
In the first pages of the book you say you were born as a victim of an ‘accident’…
“So many children are born with this ‘accident’ [laughs]… my mother told me that she was fighting against herself when she was pregnant with me. I received so much love from her in my life.”
There is a lot of faith in this book too, including the tattoo “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”…
“For me, faith is in front of me. It’s important to remember the difficult moments: I know where I started my career, I know how many sacrifices I made to get to this level, and this faith has been the thread of my life; I was born into a Christian family and my wife always brought me to the Evangelical Church. God has done so much for us, my faith also brought me here because it is from it that I learned the values to pass on to my children: respect, love and humility.”
And in the world of football…
“For me it’s natural to talk about the faith of the football world. I am a sociable person and I want to be an example for my brothers in God and for those who ask themselves about it.”
You often mention Shevchenko in your book…
“In the years of the great Milan, between 1990 and 2000, I was a big Milan fan. I watched so many videos of Van Basten and Papin, I wanted to score like them. Sheva was for me the class, the example, my favorite player: he could score goals in all ways and I liked his mentality, characterized by fighting and never giving up. When I met him I had stars in my eyes.”
You got stars in your eyes also in a call with Maldini…
“I was in Nice with the national team. My agent told me it’s best to talk in FaceTime with Maldini: for me it was a special thing, he’s a Milan legend. I like the relationship with him and Massara. I talked to them without any problems and for me it was a sign that I should go to Milan.”
Pioli, you write, is the creator of the Scudetto. Did Ibrahimović help you?
“Competition is a tiramisù, it’s my favorite dessert. I didn’t know so much about Pioli’s style, but when I spoke with him on FaceTime I knew right away that we could work very well together; he is a good person, sincere, who knows how to talk to players. Ibra is a Milan legend; I didn’t tell him right away that I was a fan of his. My friends gave me his jersey as a gift. I had some apprehension about asking him… he now makes fun of me for it. I am very happy with the relationship I have with Zlatan.”
Everything has changed since the Derby on February 5th…
“Crazy emotion, with the Curva Sud in front of me. They were two important goals. If Intehad won the Derby it would have been almost unattainable. I think God told me to believe it until the end for the first goal and also for that second one… that skill happens to me sometimes. I pushed De Vrij before I made that run, so that on Calabria’s pass he was late and afterwards… explosion! All the fans told me about this goal for 4-5-6 months, even today! ‘Succede solo a chi ci crede’ – It only happens to those who believe in it. I am very proud and I hope to experience this kind of emotion again.”
And Milan had already won a Derby for you…
“At Chelsea I was the third striker, there were Abraham and also Batsuahyi in front of me. I talked to Lampard to find a solution, but he didn’t want to send me away. Then I scored 8 goals in the last 10 games. Inter were very interested in me but at one point they told me there was no more money for me. Lazio wanted me too. I was desperate, I wanted to leave. I could have gone to Tottenham, but I’d played for Arsenal. It was destiny that I became a Rossonero and not a Nerrazzuro.”
What do you tell about the Scudetto?
“I compared the atmosphere of winning the Scudetto to that of the World Cup. It’s normal. I’ve never seen this kind of celebration. People have waited a long time for this title; people were crying in the street and it takes your heart. With France we were going too fast, here we took 4.5 hours. The fans in Reggio Emilia all came to the pitch: I didn’t expect it, it was crazy.”
You returned to Milanello signing…
“In the shower, I sing “i Campioni dell’Italia siamo noi’. I sang it all summer, I taught it to my children; also ‘Siam venuti qua su per vedere segnare Giroud’. I also taught them ‘Pioli is on fire’. On Saturday, I was celebrating with the family, it was my wedding anniversary and my daughter’s baptism; there was a band and we sand ‘Freed from desire’ with friends – I don’t even know the original lyrics anymore, but just ‘Pioli is on fire’.”
And you banished the curse of the #9…
“There is no taboo. I am a Christian, I am not superstitious. It’s not a number that makes me score goals. I wanted it at Milan, it’s a nice gift to be like Pippo Inzaghi, the number 9 at Milan.”
Maldini said that ‘we want to win the second star’…
“Yes, it’s like that. The most difficult thing in football is not to get there, but to stay where you are. We had a great season and the new one will be even more difficult because Juventus and Inter are strengthening. But I like this kind of challenge: it will be very difficult, but I think we have the qualities to win.”
After the press conference, Giroud answered some more questions, as reported by Milannews.it:
Why did you choose this moment to release the book and tell so many secrets?
“I’m only 36-years-old, but it’s a piece that is a beautiful gift for my children and for all young people who have doubts in life. Life is made like this, of difficult moments. I like the words of Nelson Mandela, who says: ‘Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again’. That for me is inspiring, it makes me battle with great determination when I’m faced with difficult times. There are also many good things, not only difficulties, but it is part of life and of my life.”
What is your motto?
“Always believe, it also means in the future. I think that if you don’t believe then you cannot create your objectives. It’s basic but so true. This year it will be even more difficult but we are ready to fight for the Scudetto and the second star.”
Did you win the Scudetto with the February Derby?
“After the fact, you can say that. But I think that from February on it was long. We definitely didn’t win it but we didn’t lose it that night either. It was a big turning point that night and also for us to believe.”
A thought on Origi…
“He speaks French, I played my role as a Big Brother because it is very important to give a good welcome to everyone even if I’m going to be in competition with him. I’ve always said that competition is very important in order to be strong, to learn and give my best. He is a good reinforcement.”
A thought on Ibra…
“When he signs the renewal, I’ll buy him a dinner. We want him to sign, obviously no pressure for the club… he is still hungry, he is important for the dressing room. I talked a lot with him, he has the same desire even at 40.”
What team do you fear for the next campaign?
“Juventus and Inter are the teams that have strengthened the most. It will be a fierce battle between them and us.”
How much would you like to finish you career here at Milan?
“Definitely I feel very good here at Milan, I’m very happy. I don’t want to think too far ahead, I’ve always been like this. I enjoy every day in the present and we’ll see for the future. But it’s sure that I want the fans to remember me as a good player and a nice person, which is the most important thing.”
Your wife was not there at the Reggio Emilia party, is that an extra incentive to win again? Did you promise her something?
“The problem is that when you win the Scudetto away from home, it’s difficult to organize. You saw that after the game people invaded the pitch, it was a good decision like that and the next day we came here to Casa Milan to take pictures and I have special pictures with my children and my wife.”