By Musa Abdullahi Kaga
“I try to do my job. When I’m in the area, I always try to be in the right place at the right time,” – Giroud
When Olivier Giroud’s rumoured move to Milan – from Chelsea – surfaced on the Internet, many Milan faithful were unhappy. Already battling with 39-year-old Zlatan’s fitness, most fans thought a 35-year-old wasn’t an ideal transfer target.
A token was paid to Chelsea for the transfer of the world cup winner, which has been paying off since then. His elegance and goal-scoring finesse were never in doubt. Olivier seamlessly settled into the team, as you’d expect of any experienced player of such calibre.
Everyone expected a rivalry between the former Arsenal star and Zlatan for the starting spot. However, it eventually proved to be a complementary role. He stood ably while the Lion (Zlatan) was nursing his injuries. When asked about the possibility of playing as a deputy to Ibrahimovic, he responded, “I don’t want to think about who will play; my job is also to be a big brother for the young players”.
After a seven-year absence from the Champions League, Milan desperately looked towards Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a solution. He eventually helped them to a second-place finish in the Italian Serie A. However, with the acquisition of Giroud the following year, the target was to build upon the success. He did that by contributing 11 goals and winning his second career league title, the first with Montpellier in 2012.
Naturally, big game players tend to be fan favourites, and Giroud was able to cement that status immediately with his super performances against the big guns. Most notably against Inter earlier in February, his brace assured the 3 points despite the defending champions taking the lead first. He followed that up with a star performance against Napoli, scoring the game’s only goal. Then, in the recent Derby win against Inter, he scored one of the three goals to claim the maximum points.
On the final day of last year’s league campaign, Milan only needed a draw to be crowned champions of Italy. Giroud showed up with pride and contributed two goals in the 0-3 triumph in the Magpie stadium. Last night, in the last game of the UCL group stage, Milan needed a draw to grace the knockout stage after a nine-year break. Their hero, Olivier Giroud, is at it again, with four goals contribution (two assists and two goals) in a commanding 4-0 win in front of a packed San Siro. He never gets old. At 36, he graced the game with a spectacular performance.
Musa Abdullahi Kaga wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org.