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    Giroud ‘more motivated than ever’ before Milan derby

    AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud says he is “more motivated than ever” at the age of 36 as he attempts to win a second Champions League title.

    Giroud was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in the 2021 final.

    He left the Blues that summer to join Milan, who face city rivals Inter in the semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

    “I’m [nearly] 37 years old, but I have the same motivations as a young boy,” said the France striker.

    “I’m more motivated than ever. It’s a great opportunity to win the Champions League.

    “A derby is always a special match. I am very proud of this Milan team and we hope to do something great tomorrow.”

    Giroud 'more motivated than ever' before Milan derby
    Olivier Giroud spent 10 years playing in the Premier League for Arsenal and Chelsea
    AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli says he will make a late call on Rafael Leao’s selection after the Portugal winger suffered a muscle injury against Lazio at the weekend.

    Leao, who has 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, was forced off after just 12 minutes but was able to resume training on Tuesday.

    “In the morning Rafa and the doctor will tell me his condition. If he is well he will be called up, otherwise not,” said Pioli.

    “If the test is clean he can play. If it is not clean he cannot play – either from the start or the end.”

    Inter Milan are hopeful that Danilo D’Ambrosio will be available for the match at the San Siro while full-back Robin Gosens will be assessed.

    The two Italian giants, who have won 10 Champions League titles between them, have met on two occasions in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with Milan winning both of them in 2003 and 2005.

    “We will have to be very good at using our heads when we need to, because there are always unexpected events in such important matches,” said Inter manager Simone Inzaghi.

    “We know what it means for us, for the club, for the fans, even for myself. But I’m quite serene, I’ve seen the boys very focused.”

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