Olivier Giroud Profile
|Born||Sep 30, 1986|
After shining with Montpellier, Giroud made the switch to the Premier League where he has played on both sides of the Arsenal-Chelsea rivalry. He is currently at Serie A side AC Milan.
Olivier Giroud is a French professional soccer player who plays as a striker for Serie A club AC Milan and the France national team.
Giroud began his career as a youngster at Froges and then Grenoble, with whom he made his senior breakthrough. He had a loan spell at Istres before moving to Tours. After a successful spell there, he moved to Montpellier in 2010.
Giroud proved to be a consistent goalscorer for Arsenal before moving on to London rivals Chelsea in 2018.
He was part of the French national team during their victorious 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign in Russia.
He joined AC Milan in July 2021 on a two-year deal.
Early days at Montpellier
Giroud joined Montpellier on July 1, 2010. He scored his first goal for the club in the first half of his European debut in the third qualifying round against Hungarian club Gyori ETO.
He made his league debut in Montpellier's first match of the Ligue 1 season - a 1-0 triumph over Bordeaux.
Montpellier showed promising signs in the 2010/11 season, reaching the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. Giroud's goal against Paris Saint-Germain in extra time clinched their semi-final tie.
A goal from Taye Taiwo then saw Marseille beat Montpellier 1-0 in the final.
Giroud had an incredible 2011/12 season with 21 goals and nine assists seeing him crowned Ligue 1's top scorer ahead of Nene, who had the same number of goals, but fewer from open play than Giroud.
Giroud fired Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title ahead of PSG, who were at the beginning of an era of heavy spending which would ultimately see them dominate French soccer for years.
Off the back of his incredible performances for Montpellier, Giroud secured a move to Arsenal for a fee reported to be around £9.6million.
Firepower for the Gunners
Expectations were high for Giroud at Arsenal as a result of the departure of Robin van Persie, who had won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2011/12 campaign.
Giroud claimed that he picked Arsenal above London rivals Chelsea due to doubts over the extent to which then-Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo valued him.
"Why did I choose Arsenal rather than Chelsea?" Giroud told French newspaper L'Equipe, explaining his decision. "Because it is a club I love and I thought it would be easier for my adaptation.
"Arsenal is a great club, the facilities are wonderful, but I feel it is a club that takes big care before signing a player, notably considering human values.
"There are French players. There is also Arsene Wenger who let me understand he really wanted me. Chelsea is very nice, it is a great club, but I am not convinced Di Matteo knows who I am."
Giroud scored a respectable 17 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions in his first season in north London. However, he was overshadowed by van Persie who fired Manchester United to the Premier League title.
Despite his solid contribution to the team, Giroud polarised opinion among Arsenal supporters, which proved to be a recurring theme during his time in north London.
Arsenal finished fourth in the Premier League in 2012/13, and at the beginning of the following campaign, they looked set to mount a strong title challenge.
However, Arsenal's campaign petered out and they ultimately once again finished in fourth place. Giroud scored 22 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions.
The 2014/15 season saw Arsenal challenge for the Premier League title, but they could not keep pace with runaway leaders Chelsea and ultimately finished in third place. Giroud scored 19 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions.
As the Premier League's big guns struggled, Arsenal had arguably their most disappointing title race in the 2015/16 season, finishing second to Leicester City who won the league against the odds. Giroud had his most prolific season for Arsenal with 24 goals in 53 appearances across all competitions.
In 2016/17, Giroud scored 16 goals in 40 appearances as Arsenal missed out on the top four, finishing fifth.
The arrival of Alexandre Lacazette and the subsequent acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang meant Giroud's game-time at Arsenal was subsequently limited. He left Arsenal with 105 goals to his name in 253 appearances, signing for London rivals Chelsea on deadline day of the 2018 January transfer window.
Becoming a Blue
Giroud was initially competing for a starting spot with Alvaro Morata at Antonio Conte's Chelsea. Neither striker was in hot goalscoring form and the team finished fifth in the 2017/18 Premier League having won the title the previous season.
In 2018/19, Maurizio Sarri took charge of the team and guided Chelsea to third place in the Premier League. Giroud scored 13 goals in all competitions, including a remarkable 11 in the Blues' triumphant UEFA Europa League campaign.
In Baku, Chelsea beat Giroud's former club Arsenal 4-1 in the final. Giroud scored the opening goal in the 49th minute.
"It was an improvement going from Arsenal to Chelsea and I knew I would have the opportunity to win some more trophies," he said.
"To win this Europa League one year after winning the World Cup is great for me."
"I'm a Blue, a proper Blue. It's a new chapter of my career and it was very special to score. I am so proud of this team."
Giroud once again hit double figures in the 2019/20 campaign and then again in 2020/21. Despite constant speculation that he was set to leave the Blues, he kept contributing to the Chelsea cause, even if limited to substitute appearances.
Most recently, Olivier Giroud was part of the Chelsea team that won the 2021 Champions League after defeating Manchester City 1-0 in the final.
On June 4, 2021, Chelsea announced they had already triggered a one-year extension clause in his contract. However, six weeks later, it was announced he was moving to AC Milan in a two-year deal.
Contributing to the national team
Giroud's international career did not take off in his younger days, although he did spend time within the U-16 camp. He earned his first senior call-up under Laurent Blanc in 2011 and has remained a reliable goalscorer in the years since.
Although he did not score a goal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Giroud was praised for his work rate and contribution to the team.
Giroud has surpassed a century of caps for the France national team and is among their highest goalscorers of all time. At the time of writing, only Thierry Henry has more goals for France.
Giroud featured twice off the bench in Euro 2020, coming onto the field in the group stage draw against Hungary and the last-16 clash against Switzerland. He did not score in the competition, but did convert in the penalty shootout against the Swiss, which France lost.
Giroud has been married to wife Jennifer since 2011. His daughter Jade was born in June 2013.
Giroud denied in February 2014 that he had committed adultery after rumours that he had cheated on his wife with Celia Kay.
Renowned for his looks and sleek hair, Giroud is extremely marketable and has a longstanding relationship with sportswear brand Puma. Giroud earns £5,720,000 per year from Chelsea, as per Spotrac.