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Olivier Giroud

Giroud reveals love for Italian defenders: I wanted to be like Cannavaro or Nesta

8:27 PM IST 08/05/22
Olivier Giroud Milan
The France forward is in fine fettle in Milan following last year's move, and has now opened up on his love for some Azzurri legends

Olivier Giroud has revealed that he carried a younger affection for Italian defenders such as Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta, saying that he took his cues from the pair when making his way as a footballer.

The AC Milan forward is fighting for the Serie A title this term, following his arrival from Chelsea at the end of last season, and is looking to become a league champion for only the second time, after success with Montpellier over a decade ago.

But as the title race with rivals Inter continues to tumble forward, the France international has now spoken about his love for the country where he now plays, namechecking stars who he looked up to as a younger man.

What has Giroud said about his affection for Italian football?

“I was 20 years old, I had grown my hair long, I wanted to be like Cannavaro or Nesta," Giroud told L'Equipe when speaking of his love for Italian footballers.

"My brother gave me the Squadra Azzurra jersey, the very tight one made by Kappa with this magnificent sky blue. Moreover, since France was not there, I supported Italy at the 1994 World Cup and I cried when Roberto Baggio missed his shot on goal in the final.

"On the other hand, concerning that final of 2006, I was 100 per cent for Les Bleus!"

What has Giroud said about Milan?

Elsewhere, the former Arsenal man also paid tribute to his current club, highlighting their response to the heartbreak of their 2005 Champions League final defeat to Liverpool as a sign of their collective power.

"In Italy, it was Milan," he added. "In 2007, they won it, they came back even stronger. That's a great club.

"This Milan was typical Italian class, always well-groomed, beautiful as a whole , but also very professional, rigorous."

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