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Exclusive interview: Olivier Giroud on lockdown

Things are strange, but Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud tells UEFA.com he is delighted to be back in training.

Olivier Giroud takes part in (socially distanced) training
Olivier Giroud takes part in (socially distanced) training Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Lockdown has had its upsides for Olivier Giroud, but Chelsea’s French forward is delighted to be back in training – though things are not quite the same, as he explained to UEFA.com.

"We resumed training [on Tuesday 19 May]. It really feels good to be back on the pitch, to get to see team-mates again and to simply be playing football. I’d really missed it.

"It’s very unusual, as we work in groups of five. We need to maintain a two-metre minimum social distance between each other, meaning no [physical] contact. We’re tested [for COVID-19] twice a week. We can’t access the changing room. We can’t shower either, meaning you have to get changed before stepping into your car in order to keep it clean. And it’s very hot at the moment too – I’m not complaining about that, but it means we sweat a lot!

Giroud arrives for training in full kit: 'We can't access the changing room'
Giroud arrives for training in full kit: 'We can't access the changing room'AFP via Getty Images

"During lockdown, Chelsea would send us programmes to follow to keep fit. We had exercises to do every day. I’m lucky enough to live right next to a great park and I went there to run almost every day. Towards the end of this period, the whole team video-called and we did circuit training. I did it at home in the playroom alongside my children. I took a picture of us – it was nice. However, nothing replaces being on the pitch. Almost all my team-mates got blisters after resuming training.

"At home, I spent a lot of time with my kids. I’ve watched them grow in everyday life more than I usually do. We did some home schooling. It’s a lot of work. Several hours a day of video calls for my daughter. She is in the second year of primary school. She’s got tests and homework via video call; she’s got to hand them in before 18:00 every day. The timing is intense.

"I’m a modern kind of dad; I share the chores, the housework, the kids – giving them a bath. I like to change my youngest son’s nappies. Spending time with them is priceless. You have to look for the positive in everything and that’s who I am.

"I have been watching films and TV at night when I’m in bed and they’re all asleep. I really liked The Last Dance, about Michael Jordan. I’m a big fan of Vikings. I’ve also seen The Last Kingdom. I really enjoyed Money Heist: it’s incredible! There were only eight episodes and some of my friends binge-watched it in just one day. I did it in three or four.

"What else have I missed? First of all, seeing my loved ones beyond my family here. I have really missed restaurants and going out: I really needed to get some fresh air. I miss going to the museum with the kids because I enjoy getting my children to discover new things. My daughter asks so many questions about the world around her. I love sharing it with her. I’ve really missed the competitions and the adrenaline, the fans. I worry about playing football without fans. But it’s fine: spirits are high. All my relatives are healthy too, so I can’t complain."