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In Focus: Ageless Giroud needs to find shooting boots in Europe
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Danny Ryan
Olivier Giroud joined AC Milan from Chelsea in July 2021
Olivier Giroud joined AC Milan from Chelsea in July 2021

Olivier Giroud turned 37 on September 30 but is still one of Europe's finest strikers.

The France international has shone as AC Milan's focal point this season, bagging six goals and tallying three assists in Serie A.

Only Inter Milan marksman Lautaro Martinez has struck more times in the Italian top flight and the Rossoneri now need their main man to start firing in the Champions League.

We take a look at Giroud's start to the term ahead of Milan's crucial match against Paris Saint-Germain this evening.

Serie A star

Giroud started the Serie A campaign on fire, notching four goals and three assists in Milan's first seven matches.

The ex-Arsenal hitman then went three appearances without a contribution before bagging a brace in a 2-2 draw with Napoli last month. 

Giroud sits joint-second in the scoring charts alongside Victor Osimhen and Roma loanee Romelu Lukaku — and has managed the feat despite limited involvement.

He sits outside Serie A's top 250 for both touches and passes completed.

But Milan's No9 has been impressively efficient in front of goal as he has missed just one big chance and hit the target with 12 of his 17 attempted shots.

European struggles

But while Giroud has thrived in Italy this term, he has struggled to have a similar impact in the Champions League.

Last season he tallied five goals in 12 European outings as Milan reached the semi-finals but he is without a goal in three group stage appearances in 2023-24.

However, Giroud's record in the competition is pretty good with 23 strikes in 61 matches. 

And he enjoys playing against PSG, having found the back of the net four times in eight games against the French champions.

Mbappe reunion

Olivier Giroud has been a key figure for AC Milan this season
Olivier Giroud has been a key figure for AC Milan this season

As he tries to ends his European mini-drought this evening, Giroud will be reunited with France team-mate Kylian Mbappe.

There were reports of tension between the pair at Euro 2020 but the PSG star has since heaped praise on his colleague's ability to bring out the best in him — which Milan flyer Rafael Leao regularly benefits from at club level.

Ahead of last winter's World Cup, Mbappe said: "I have a lot more freedom here [with France]. The coach knows that there is a No9 like Olivier who occupies the defence.

"Me, I can walk around, go into space, ask for balls. In Paris, there isn't that, it's different."

In September, France boss Didier Deschamps complimented the longevity of Giroud, who is Les Bleus' record scorer with 54 goals in 127 appearances.

He said: "Giroud has that desire to keep himself at the highest level, he showed it last year and is now already off to a good start this season.

"There have been improvements in medical treatment and training, but you need the state of mind and Olivier has that."

Milan boss Stefano Pioli will be hoping Giroud's elite mentality can lead the Rossoneri to victory against PSG at San Siro as the Italians bid to keep their knockout dreams alive.


Champions LeagueAC MilanOlivier Giroud
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