Olivier Giroud: I cannot wait to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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Olivier Giroud: I cannot wait to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been lauded as an inspiration to younger players in Serie A, with Olivier Giroud expressing his delight at the prospect of playing with the Sweden striker at Milan.

Giroud joined AC Milan from Chelsea in July for a reputed €2 million (£1.7 million), and he made an immediate impact with a double against Cagliari at the end of August.

With that brace, the France international became the first player since Mario Balotelli in February 2013 to score multiple times in his debut home league match for the Rossoneri.

However, after testing positive for COVID-19 a month later, the 34-year-old striker has only played 224 minutes in the league for Stefano Pioli's team, with Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic leading the line so far.

Ibrahimovic is another of Milan's alternatives, and despite only playing 30 minutes in Serie A this season due to injuries, he has scored once.

Now, Giroud is eager to work with the former Barcelona and Manchester United striker, praising the impact he can have on future generations of sportsmen.

"I played against Zlatan a few times," Giroud said to Serie A's YouTube channel.

"He still plays at 40 and that means he's an exceptional professional.

"He takes care of himself and his body, and I also try to do so to enjoy football as long as my body will allow it.

"I think he's a great example for the youngsters and he is one of the best strikers in Serie A. I can't wait to play alongside him and enjoy him in training.

"I think we will have fun and we want to win something with Milan. With Zlatan, it will be easier."

Ibrahimovic was one of Pioli's key players before his current injury, scoring 25 goals in 37 Serie A games between his second debut on January 6, 2020, and the end of last season.

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