Olivier Giroud Says 'No Chance' He'll Settle for Being Chelsea's Back-Up StrikerMarch 15, 2019
Olivier Giroud has said there's "no chance" he intends to settle for life as a back-up after scoring a hat-trick in Chelsea's 5-0 thrashing of Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA Europa League last 16.
The Blues wrapped up an 8-0 aggregate demolition of Dynamo in Ukraine on Thursday, and Giroud, 32, told reporters he still sees himself as capable of being the main man in attack:
"No chance [I will deputise for another striker]. I'm a competitor. I have been through a lot of tough moments in my career. I want to enjoy playing my football after winning the World Cup last summer.
"I want to take maximum pleasure on the pitch. That's why when I play I try to enjoy the game as much as I can. I want to play every single game and to be happy on the pitch. But I am not picking the team. The manager makes some choices."
The Frenchman said he feels "very well physically" and still challenges for the best scores on the treadmill in training. However, he is yet to start a league game in 2019 and appears the firm deputy to Gonzalo Higuain, who arrived on loan from Juventus in January.
While he may not be the headliner in Chelsea's attack, Giroud continues to at least have the potential to do great damage in front of goal and was at his best against Dynamo, via BT Sport (UK only).
There's sure to be a temptation for Giroud to leave when his contract at Stamford Bridge expires in the summer. Chelsea will also decide this summer whether to make permanent Higuain's move to the club, which is sure to in turn influence their motivation to keep hold of Giroud.
"Some of the boys asked me why I didn't retire after the World Cup with the national team, but I'm still hungry, and I know how much I will miss football after my career. I want more and more. I think I have a few nice years in front of me.
"I don't know how many, my body will tell me. I still feel as fresh as when I was in my 20s. I remember all of my hat-tricks, but this one was important because it was an international game in the Europa League."
Giroud now leads the Europa League scoring charts on nine goals, with Higuain yet to play a minute in the competition since he joined the Blues on loan.
The forward may be ebbing toward what's usually the twilight period for a centre forward, but Squawka highlighted this season as Giroud's most prolific in Europe.
Giroud has scored 10 goals in 33 appearances this season, but his record looks more impressive considering he's only made 15 starts and is averaging one goal every 153 minutes, per Transfermarkt.
Almost seven years after arriving in England, former Montpellier hitman Giroud could be considering his future at his second Premier League club as he refuses to accept a bit-part role.