Milan Striker Giroud Delivers Update on Partnership with Ibra

Olivier Giroud has explained how playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic has improved his game at Milan. The Frenchman believes competing with the Swedish superstar for a place in Stefano Pioli’s starting line-up pushes him to step up his performances. 

Giroud joined Milan as a free agent ahead of the 2021/22 season, picking up the ‘cursed No.9’ at the San Siro. The 35-year-old was expected to replace Ibrahimovic, who was injured at the time, but his own physical setbacks, coupled with testing positive for Covid-19, hindered his progress earlier in the season. 

However, the former Chelsea striker has been quite impressive when fit and firing, racking up six goals and two assists from 20 appearances in all competitions. Despite alternating his playing time with Ibrahimovic, Giroud is adamant he has benefited from going head-to-head with the 40-year-old for his berth in Pioli’s XI.

I see it as a challenge, something that pushes me every day. It’s an opportunity to have him as my partner, to learn something more,” he told Colinterview – Oh My Goal.

He’s an example for many strikers and when I was young I loved him, both on the pitch and for his strong character, and for the fact that he’s demanding every day. It’s a healthy competition between us.”

Since scoring against Roma in Milan’s opening Serie A match of 2022, Giroud has drawn a blank in three consecutive league outings. But he will need to rediscover his ‘lethal instincts’ if the Rossoneri are to beat Inter in the upcoming Derby della Madonnina. 

With Ibrahimovic’s availability for the mouth-watering derby due to injury, it will likely be up to Giroud to shoulder the scoring burden as Milan look to close the gap on bitter rivals. Only four points separate the sides, but the Nerazzurri have a game in hand, highlighting the importance of the upcoming showdown.