Olivier Giroud is the latest player to discuss his football journey, one in which he has been part of trophy-winning club teams in France and England, as well as at international level.
I started my career at my local club Grenoble and made my debut for them in 2006. It was a great feeling, especially when it’s your hometown. I grew up 20 kilometres from there, with all my friends and family, so it was very special for me to play for them. I was always obsessed by goals. I scored a lot when I was younger, so from the age of six or seven I played up front, I always liked being a striker.
After loan spells in Ligue 2 with Istres and Tours I joined Montpellier, who were in Ligue 1, in 2010. I had a first year of adaptation, but I felt very good. I received a warm welcome and I worked very hard, like I do now. I wanted to reach my targets, I played with good team-mates in a very good side so it was a nice time for me.
In my second season I scored 21 goals as we won the French title. It was special because the target had not been to win the championship. It was the first year after PSG had been taken over so it was amazing for us. We had a young and talented team and it was a great feeling.
In my five-and-a-half years at Arsenal I improved in every area of my game. Tactically, technically and physically because the Premier League is the most intense of all the main leagues so you have to be ready to go from box to box, physically it’s very hard. I won six trophies in total, three FA Cups and three Community Shields. If you can’t win the league it’s nice to win the cups so it was an important period in my career.
When I came to Chelsea it was important to settle quickly and I received a great welcome from everybody. I believe that you can always improve your game, even at 31 or 32 you are still learning from your coach and team-mates. I feel like I’ve been here for a long time. I’m sociable and I’m willing to speak to everyone, I have a good relationship with the boys on and off the pitch and you can see that.
I made my debut for France in 2011 and it was a proud moment. To wear the blue shirt was very special and then to go on and help my country win the World Cup this year, you can’t really expect any better than that. It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget. Hopefully I will be able to play in one more major competition.
The World Cup is the biggest honour you can win in football with your national team. The pressure was so big because it’s a massive event. When you look back you feel very proud for what you’ve done and achieved. It will stay with us forever, but football is full of new beginnings so you have to keep going and now my target is to win the Premier League with Chelsea.