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'God wanted me to play for Milan' - Giroud explains decision to leave Chelsea

15:01 BST 02/08/2021
Olivier Giroud Milan
The Frenchman is eager to add to his trophy haul after joining "one of the biggest clubs in the world"

Olivier Giroud has explained his decision to leave Chelsea, claiming "God wanted me to play for Milan".

Giroud completed a €2 million switch from Chelsea to San Siro on July 17, committing his future to the Italian giants through to 2023.

The France international is now eager to help Milan fight for success on both domestic and European fronts, having decided the time was right to embark on a new challenge in a different league after four years at Stamford Bridge.

What's been said?

Giroud was officially presented as a new Rossoneri player on Monday, after scoring on his debut in a 1-1 friendly draw with Nice at the weekend.

“I won many trophies at every club I’ve been at and would like to do the same here," he said. "I do have an objective in my mind, but I don’t want to reveal it, otherwise there’d be too much pressure. Let’s just say my final objective is to win with Milan.

“The time had come to leave Chelsea and discover a new league. God wanted me to play for Milan. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I really believe in the project here.

"We’ve got what it takes to have a very good Champions League campaign.”

What number has Giroud been given?

Giroud has inherited the coveted No 9 shirt at Milan, which has proved to be something of a poisoned chalice for a number of highly-rated strikers since Fillipo Inzaghi's retirement in 2012.

Gonzalo Higuain, Luiz Adriano and Fernando Torres all failed to follow in the footsteps of a club legend, but the new owner of the jersey insists that he can cope with the weight of expectation.

“I am not superstitious, a shirt number cannot change the way I play. Strikers like Inzaghi, Marco van Basten and Jean-Pierre Papin wore this shirt for Milan, but I don’t feel the pressure," said Giroud.

The 34-year-old went on to insist that he can still deliver the goods in the final third despite his advancing years, citing new teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the perfect example of how to ensure longevity at the highest level.

“My age means nothing," he added. "Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a few years older than me, but it’s all about your mentality. With the right motivation, you can still push hard.”

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