The words “model professional” were never too far from any words talking about Olivier Giroud at Chelsea. Neither were words like “goals” and “trophies”, or qualifiers like “big game” and “fan favorite”. Olivier Giroud was a wonderful teammate and a great player, and he played a crucial role in all of our successes during his 3.5 seasons here, including the Europa League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League.
It is in the confines of the latter competition that our paths cross once again, a little over a year after parting ways amicably and with great mutual respect. Giroud expects his welcome back to Stamford Bridge to be a fittingly warm and pleasant occasion, at least until the referee blows his whistle to start tonight’s Champions League group stage showdown.
“I think it’ll be a special game for the team because it’s a great Champions League match-up. It’s also personally for me, as I spent nine years in London playing for Arsenal and Chelsea, so I expect it to be a great game.”
“It’s always a pleasure when the people you met while playing for your former clubs have so much respect for you, also because I want to be seen not only as a good player on the pitch, but also a good person off it. I have many friends in London.”
“I have a lot of hope for our Champions League journey this season. I am very proud of this squad and I think we can do well with this group of players in the Champions League. This match can also give the team great confidence if we win, to boost us for the next games.”
Giroud recently celebrated his 36th birthday by playing some of the best football of his career. He already has five goals in all competitions this season to lead the team, including four in his last six. He also earned a recall to the French national team, scoring once for them during the break.
We all know what Oli’s capable of, still, especially on the big occasion. And tonight certainly will be a massive occasion.