Giroud says he can form partnership with Ibrahimovic at Milan

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal, May 29, 2021. ― Reuters pic
Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal, May 29, 2021. ― Reuters pic

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ROME, Aug 2 ― Olivier Giroud is confident he can strike up a fearsome partnership with AC Milan talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic after leaving Chelsea to join the Serie A side in what he described as a dream move.

The 34-year-old is expected to compete with Ibrahimovic for one striker spot in Stefano Pioli’s side, but he is open to the idea of forming a vastly experienced front two with the 39-year-old Swede.

“I’m pretty sure we can complement each other, no matter what tactic Pioli wants to play. I think it’s very easy to have a good understanding with that kind of player,” the Frenchman told a news conference.

“He’s a great player, a big personality. I’m looking forward to showing everyone we can play together. I’m not going to say I want to play in front of any players, Pioli will make the decisions. But I think it’s a good thing that the coach can count on strikers with different qualities.

“I believe Ibra over time plays more like a number 10, he wants to have the game in front of him, organising the game as a playmaker. We can have a good understanding and have good complementary qualities.”

The move marked the end of a nine-year spell in the English Premier League for Giroud, who started only nine league games for Chelsea last season.

The striker possesses a glittering CV, having won three FA Cups at Arsenal and the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League at Stamford Bridge, as well as playing a leading role in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph.

“It was the time to discover another championship, country and culture. I had this opportunity and for me it was the best option,” he said.

“My time was basically over at Chelsea, when you understand the manager wants to play a different type of striker and spend a lot of money. It was clear that it was time for me to leave the club.

“When I was young, I always watched Arsenal because of the French players, and AC Milan,” he added.

“I looked up to Jean-Pierre Papin and Andriy Shevchenko. It’s an honour to play for Milan because so many legends played for this club.”

Last season, Giroud was heavily linked with a move to Milan’s city rivals Inter Milan, who went on to win the Serie A title. Asked about the speculation, he said: “I’m a Christian and I believe that my destiny was to sign for Milan and not for Inter last year.” ― Reuters

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