Dan Burke

Olivier Giroud doesn’t want to be a super-sub at 32

Olivier Giroud has vowed to fight his way into Chelsea’s starting XI and feels he still has a lot to offer despite his advancing years.

Giroud netted a hat-trick in the Blues’ 5-0 Europa League win away at Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday but the Frenchman has found starts hard to come by this season.

Maurizio Sarri preferred Álvaro Morata in the first half of the season and has used Gonzalo Higuaín as his main striker since January.

But Giroud hopes his hat-trick heroics will have reminded Sarri what he has to offer.

“I’m 32 but I’m still young,” the striker told reporters.

“I still feel as fresh as when I was in my twenties. I feel very well physically. When I do the tests on the treadmill, I have one of the best [at the club].

“I have the motivation to carry on. Some of the boys asked me why I didn’t retire after winning the World Cup but I’m still hungry and I know how much I will miss football after my career. I want more and more. I think I have a few nice years in front of me.”

Chelsea are away at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, and Giroud is realistic about his chances of starting the game.

“I am a competitor, I want to play every single game and to be happy on the pitch,” he added.

“But I am not picking the team, the manager makes some choices. I play in the Europa League and I am happy to help the team to go through the stages step by step. The target is clearly to win it.

“The Premier League is another thing, you know? I have no idea [if I will start on Sunday]. Will I settle for being a substitute at 32? No. No chance. I want to take maximum pleasure on the pitch. That’s why when I play I try to enjoy the game as much as I can.”