Photo credit: Biser Todorov via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0

“I’ve been fighting for survival since the womb” AC Milan Striker Oliver Giroud says in inspiring interview

AC Milan striker Oliver Giroud has spoken about being told he was an unwanted pregnancy in a moving interview with The Times.

The French football star, 35, said in the interview published on Friday that he was “born fighting, ”explaining how his fierce determination is rooted in his beginning as an unwanted child in the womb. The centre forward  — who has also played for UK clubs Arsenal and Chelsea  —  used the interview to open up about his far from perfect start in life.

Giroud, an evangelical Christian, states in the pognant interview: “I was born fighting” because his parents discussed aborting him.

Giroud testified in the interview that the source of his resolve to overcome adversity; deal with managers and critics who questioned him; and enhance his talent through relentless hard work to become a champion of the world with France in the 2018 World Cup, is the fact that he started his life as an unwanted pregnancy.

“I was fighting for survival in the womb,” he says. As a young teenager, Giroud recalls that his mother sat him down in the kitchen of their home and confessed that her pregnancy with him had been unintended.

“You weren’t wanted,” she told him, and although his conception had been a mistake, his mother said she loved him just as much as his three siblings.

“I believe she had this in her soul, and in her heart and she needed to explain to me that I was not planned, I was an accident,” Giroud recalls.

“There are so many kids born this way. My mother said, ‘Your mental strength comes from there, in my belly, because I was fighting against myself during the pregnancy because at first I didn’t want to have a fourth kid.’

“I told my mother, ‘Mummy, I will never think that [badly of you]. I received so much love from you.’ But I think it explains why I always want to fight every single moment.”

In his new book, Always Believe, Giroud goes into detail on his fight to live and how his beginning in life spurred him on to always keep striving and performing at his best.

“It’s a good legacy for my children but also for the youngsters who in life, not only in football, have to overcome doubt and difficulties,” Giroud says. Emphasising the importance of a strong and determined human spirit, he talks of “strength of character being more important than technique” in his career.

“I do have technique! I do! Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do a professional career, but when I was 15, 16 [at Grenoble] I played with better players than me. It’s about how much you want to grab it, improve and be successful. It’s how much you work for it. Mental strength makes the difference”, the footballer added.

Drawing on the importance of humility, Giroud, who is widely regarded for his work-rate, strength, shot power and consistent goal-scoring ability, says that he will never forget where he came from.

“I’ve played with so many talented players but if they are not ready to make sacrifices, make good decisions in life, and have a good entourage [support network], they will not make it. If I didn’t have this unconditional support from my wife [Jennifer] all through my career I wouldn’t be the same successful footballer.

“All the players who have this stability would say the same. The wives deserve a medal. I feel blessed. But I know where I come from. I’m not considering myself a different person than when I was 18 and didn’t have the same stature as today. Maybe people see me differently now, but me? I stay the same.

He also says that his Christian faith is a huge aspect of his life, one that imbues him with mental strength — and a part of him he would never hide.

“I believe also my mental strength comes from my faith. I have no problems talking about my faith in the dressing room. You’ve got temptations, you’ve got the money, but I’ve been raised in a family with certain values, respect, humility. My faith helps me a lot, always to stay strong and positive.

“I have faith in the Lord and the Lord creates our path in life.”

Giroud – who is often considered one of the most underrated strikers in the world – believes that God always had a plan for him from the beginning, regardless of the fact his start in life was neither planned nor perfect.

In July, father of four Giroud left Chelsea for Italian club AC Milan, which is where he believes God now wants him to be.

“I have two boys and two girls but the oldest one, eight, misses London a lot,” Giroud says.

“They were born there, they had so many friends in London. They are English. I pick up English passports for them. It’s not easy for them as they have so many great memories at Arsenal and Chelsea, but they are settled well now in Milan. I believe God wanted me here in Milan. God always has a plan for me.”


PHOTOS: Instagram / Oliver Giroud 

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