Olivier Giroud has revealed his burning desire to succeed at the highest level is motivated by criticism from a former manager.
As a teenager at Grenoble, the Arsenal striker was told that he did not have the qualities to succeed in the elite game.
Since then he has gone on to become one of the best forwards in the Premier League and a France international - but he can still remember the doubts that existed about him.
Everything I did on the pitch is my answer for people who wanted to maybe blame meOlivier Giroud
“It was a long time ago - I was really young, [around] 19. I was maybe not mature enough,” Giroud said.
“I grew up step by step and proved that I could score a lots of goals and did well. I improved myself and had the trust and confidence to continue.
“I succeeded in Ligue 1 and won the championship. Everything I did on the pitch is my answer for people who wanted to maybe blame me.
“I tried to do my job on the pitch and score goals. Never mind the people who did not believe in my qualities and my game. I don’t care about it now.”
Giroud has eight goals in 16 appearances this season for the Gunners, and he puts his form down to renewed self-belief.
“I am OK with my body - physically I feel well,” he said. “The difference with last season is [my] confidence and maybe the boss has helped me with my technique.
“We have worked on it at the training ground. It is about concentration and focus. The difference is I could [also] add is a good pre-season. I felt good since the beginning. I scored lots of goal and that was good for my confidence. I have helped the team to win, touch wood.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 5 Nov 2013