Manchester United v Everton: Match in pictures
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Olivier Giroud claims that his religious faith diverted his career path away from Everton when his Arsenal career was winding down in 2017. Allegedly, dreams experienced by a family relative also steered him clear of a potential move to Inter Milan in 2020, while the transfers he eventually accepted worked in his favour.
In his first full season with AC Milan, Giroud has already notched two Serie A goals as they attempt to close the gap on last season’s champions, Inter.
His international career has hit a stumbling block, however, having to watch on as a spectator when France won the Nations League on Sunday after being left out of the squad.
Reported clashes with Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe may have played their part, but at 35-years-old, Giroud is simply coming to the end of his career.
It has been a curious one at that, and the striker has discussed a pair of strange transfer scenarios when a family friend twice stepped in to offer him advice.
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In 2017 and 2020, when Everton and Inter came knocking respectively, his mother’s friend advised him against the moves by claiming she had spiritual dreams which suggested they would not turn out well.
“I believe in the story of Jesus in the Bible and that it is to bring us more humility. Suffering is a basic part of life,” Giroud told The Guardian.
“It builds your personality as a human being. That is where my mental strength comes from.
“I always have had to face difficulties, like everyone in life. Nothing is easy in life, you have to grab it and get out of your comfort zone.
“My faith helped me every single day, particularly when I had to make big decisions.
“For example, you can understand from my book why I didn’t go to Everton and why I stayed at Chelsea instead of signing for Inter. One thing I will tell you is God has got a plan for every single person on Earth.”
If God did have a plan for Giroud, it seems to have worked out well so far.
He does hold some unwanted records, such as going a full 90 minutes without getting a single touch of the ball, and not registering a single shot on target in over five games’ worth of action at the 2018 World Cup, but that has not stood in his way.
Later in his career, including to the present day, Giroud has fashioned himself as an impact substitute who maintains a strong scoring record even when feeding off scraps.
Even if rocky spells were commonplace at Arsenal and Chelsea, he regularly ended up proving the doubters wrong.
Now, he is in the midst of an exciting chapter at the San Siro.
Exactly how his stint at Goodison Park would have worked out will remain unknown, and the reasons behind the snub will leave many wondering what might have happened.
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