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"He can do a Zlatan and play until he is 40": why Giroud sets no limits

Do not ask him the question about the date of his retirement, he will send you for a ride with a frank smile.

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"He can do a Zlatan and play until he is 40": why Giroud sets no limits

Do not ask him the question about the date of his retirement, he will send you for a ride with a frank smile. Olivier Giroud (124 caps, 54 goals), who will celebrate his 37th birthday on September 30, does not know himself when he will end his international career. If he wondered after the World Cup last December, especially after the stops of his friends Hugo Lloris and Raphaël Varane, his desire to continue a story started with the Blues in 2011 took over. A paying choice since Didier Deschamps has not stopped calling him during the last rallies. And the veteran of the vice-world champions is expected to start Thursday evening against Ireland at the Parc des Princes. Without anyone finding something to (re)say. A situation that is solely the responsibility of the principal concerned.

Author of a great start to the season with AC Milan (4 goals in 3 matches), the former Arsenal or Chelsea player remains an essential element of the France group, despite substantial competition in attack. In different profiles, Randal Kolo Muani, Marcus Thuram or Christopher Nkunku, even Wissam Ben Yedder, prevent him from letting go. But through his experience, his experience and his intrinsic qualities, Giroud remains at the top of the list in the mind of Didier Deschamps.

Asked Monday about the longevity of his striker, whom he had dismissed after Euro 2021 before calling him again in 2022, the coach did not hesitate to praise his daily work. “It is his merit, he has the physique which allows him, the lifestyle certainly also, the mind, he has this desire to maintain himself at the high level, advance “DD” about the best scorer in history bruises. He did it last season. He is off to a very good start.” Not used to summoning elements only on their business card, Deschamps knows the perseverance and invisible work of his striker on a daily basis to maintain high standards: "A few years ago, 35 was a bit of the limit . Today, there are a number of them close to 40. They have a different history, it is above all the fact of having fewer injuries, everything has improved in terms of preparation, medically too, this ability to be able to extend a career for a few years. But with that, you need the mind and the state of mind. Olivier has all that, it's a very good thing. »

In his daily life, Olivier Giroud leaves little room for the unexpected, aware that with the weight of the years, he has to do much more than the ambitious young people who want to steal his place in Milan or in the national team. The question of his lifestyle remains at the center of his questions. And concerns. Sleep, recovery, food, the smallest detail is anticipated and scrutinized so as not to disrupt the mechanics.

At the Giroud home, a chef takes care of the menus, in conjunction with the AC Milan nutritionist. The former player of Tours and Montpellier also follows the advice of his brother, Romain, dietitian nutritionist. Every morning, he starts his day with a hundred push-ups before breakfast. "I'm run in like a little old man who takes care of himself," he admitted to us during the World Cup. On the menu to start the day: kiwi, freshly squeezed orange juice, toasted cereal bread with a little butter and honey, American coffee and fried eggs. Lunch: white meat, salmon or sole, without forgetting the famous raw vegetables. His spreads boil down to tiramisu and his pleasure in beautiful bottles of wine. Among the Blues, with Hugo Lloris in particular and today Benjamin Pavard or the Hernandez brothers, he usually treats himself to the pleasure of a glass of white wine after matches.

Aware of not having many more years to play at the highest level, Olivier Giroud takes advantage of every moment and manages his body meticulously. In Milan, when he arrived in Lombardy, he had also discussed at length the subject of his longevity with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At his age, he refuses to set a specific date for the end of his career. “At one point, my body will say stop but now it seems to cash in, he breathed during the World Cup in Qatar. So, zero limit. Even speech held in private or those around him feel capable of lasting a little longer.

“I feel that I will still hear about it for a long time, about football, testified his wife, Jennifer, in our columns last December. He has the mind of a 20-year-old kid, his physique follows, because he pays attention to everything. At this age, a lot of players let go little by little, but he is never jaded. Nothing has changed a few months later. And Madame Giroud concludes prophetically: “He will do a Zlatan and play until he is 40! You will still hear about him. It's his drug. His life."

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