Giroud excited to face Barcelona (instead of Ostersund)

Date published: Thursday 1st February 2018 1:16

Olivier Giroud says that the lure of playing in the Champions League again was key to his move to Chelsea.

Giroud joined Chelsea from Premier League rivals Arsenal in a £15.3million deal on transfer deadline day.

The Frenchman watched from the stands as his new side slipped to a 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth, and he hopes to feature in the Champions League last-16 ties against Barcelona. The first leg is at Stamford Bridge on February 20. As an aside, Arsenal face Ostersund in the Europa League two days later.

“The Champions League is massive for a football player. There is nothing above it when you’re playing for a club,” he told Chelsea TV.

“There will be two nice games against Barcelona. We know their qualities and I think everybody will need to be 100 per cent to go through.

“It will be very exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

Further explaining his decision to leave Arsenal for Chelsea after five-and-a-half years in north London, the Frenchman added: ‘The most important thing was talking with the coach. I felt like he really wanted me and he really wanted to work with me.

“I wanted to sign for Chelsea and nowhere else. I really wanted to play more. I wanted to stay in the Premier League, and Chelsea for me is perfect because I can even stay in London.

“But the first reason is the sporting challenge. That has always been my first priority. Everything is here for me to be happy.”

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