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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that he grew up watching Andriy Shevchenko and was trying to emulate the Ukrainian legend.
Shevchenko was one of the most prolific strikers in the game while he was at Dynamo Kyiv and AC Milan. His impressive form for the Serei A outfit saw him win the Ballon d’Or in 2004.
He was then signed by Chelsea, where he struggled to emulate his goal scoring record at Stamford Bridge. The Ukrainian was labelled as a flop during his time in London and prior to his switch to England, he was one of the best strikers in the world.
The French international who is at the Emirates now has tried to imitate him during the training sessions.
“When I was young I tried to run like Shevchenko because he was a fantastic player and really elegant as well,” Giroud told Arsenal.com.
“Sometimes at training I used to start running like him. He runs in a special way and he was really powerful – short but strong. I tried to imitate his shots as well.”
“I don’t think [my coach] noticed though, because it was a quick try. It was not an obsession!”
“Sometimes the boss used to say, ‘Of course the striker has to go to the near post because after it will create some space behind you, even if you don’t get the ball, the defenders will have to follow you,’
“After it’s easier for maybe a midfielder or the other forwards to make other runs. We say most of the time, ‘first post, first there’.
“In that situation it was true but the crosses Hector [against Newcastle] and Theo put in, against Spurs last year, were perfect. After that, it’s all about the outside of my foot,” he added.
Giroud has been the first choice striker for Arsene Wenger’s side and despite a long injury lay off, he has managed to score five goals in 10 games. Shevchenko was instrumental in Milan’s success in the early years of this century and the Gunners star grew up watching him play.
If the Frenchman starts replicating Shevchenko’s goal scoring form at Arsenal, it will be a treat for the north London club’s fans.