Olivier will turn 36 on September 30: in Europe only Messi plays and scores so much among the over 35s. Rebic and Origi should give him a hand, however …

    L’Étrange Histoire de Benjamin Button. It is the French version of the film – based on the book by Francis Scott Fitzgerald – which has inspired many sports champions, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At the beginning of the second AC Milan adventure, Ibra took the protagonist of the story as a model. The man who rejuvenated … as he got older. But if today the signs of time show the account even to someone like Zlatan, the same cannot be said of the other veteran of the Milan attack: Olivier Giroud. That he is a few years younger than Ibrahimovic, it is true, but a few days after the 36th candle on the cake goes out he is going through one of the happiest moments of a great career.

    In the club

    Score from four consecutive games, the number 9 of Milan. Sampdoria, Dinamo Zagreb and Naples with the Rossoneri shirt on, then the goal to Austria in the match that effectively avoided France the shame of relegation to League B of the Nations League. Owner with both Pioli and Deschamps, Giroud. And it could not be otherwise, at least if we limit ourselves to the Devil: alternatives in the role of center forward are scarce at the moment. The effort that Pioli asked of “Oli” brought his minutes to 591 minutes in Milan at the start of the season (we go up to 735 by adding the national team). Among those who have already turned 35 he is one of the most used players in Europe: ranking commanded by Dante, central of Nice, and embellished by the presence of Messi, Sergio Ramos and Modric, the only big veterans to have remained on the field for longer than Olivier. Messi, then, is the only striker who precedes Giroud in this list of “overused”: not bad, as a company.

    Ours are coming

    In truth, Giroud would appreciate the proximity of many other strikers: Divock Origi and Ante Rebic, or the two men who should give him the change at the center of the attack waiting for Ibrahimovic to return and for Lazetic to complete his technical maturity. A bit of turnover wouldn’t hurt, even though Giroud doesn’t like being replaced and wants to always be on the pitch. But perhaps it is not yet time. Rebic is finally about to be available again, but it is difficult for him to be deployed as a starter in Empoli, after the physical problems that have kept him out for so long: he still does custom work. Same thing for Origi, who returned from Belgium after the consultation to prevent new muscle problems: he is at Milanello, but he is not ready yet. They need a hand from them, otherwise the busy schedule becomes a very high mountain to climb. Also for the French version of Benjamin Button.