Despite playing a key part in France’s World Cup winning run in Russia, Olivier Giroud’s inability to find the back of the net in the competition was met with great criticism, mostly outside of his home country.
Across the Channel, however, many recognised everything the 32-year-old brought to the team with his work rate and backtracking, while others around him picked up the task of scoring the goals needed to overcome the opposition.
Even with a poor start to the season, at least in terms of minutes played, Giroud was still picked by Didier Deschamps for the current international break, and he sat down with Le Figaro to discuss a variety of things, including ‘the moment he realised he was playing with the best player in the world’.
He revealed: “When I discover Eden Hazard in training for my first session at Chelsea. I told myself: “F***ing hell, it’s hard to get the ball off him”. Sometimes, there’s two or three players around him and he still manages to get out in tight spaces.
“He’s a magician, he’s impressive. Now, I’ve started to know him and I don’t find myself near him. It’s better for him and for me”.
Unlike Giroud, the Belgian is enjoying the best start to a season in his career under Maurizio Sarri, scoring eight goals and picking up four assists in 14 games, and that’s with him failing to score in his last three Premier League games.
As for Giroud, things could be going a lot better, as he only picked up his first goal of the season last Thursday against BATE Borisov in the Europa League, his first in 12 appearances, most of which have come from the bench.