By Rob Kelly

Olivier Giroud is relishing the opportunity to get his first taste of Champions League football on Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old has spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues of French football, before exploding on to the scene with Montpellier.

The France international helped his former club to the Ligue 1 title - and will now line up against them in this week’s Group B opener.

“It is always important to play in the Champions League to continue your progression as a footballer,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to play against very good teams and to having the experience of the Champions League with Arsenal.

“I have found my first months at Arsenal good. I think the team have played well. I am confident that the season will be good.”

Giroud thoroughly enjoyed his two-year spell at Montpellier, and admits he owes the club for helping him move forward in his career.

“A lot of things went right for Montpellier last season. It was an incredible season for us and one that I will never forget,” he said.

“I will always have great memories of my time at the Club and the people and the fans.

“I want to say thank you to Montpellier because they gave me the possibility to play in the first division in France, join Arsenal and come to the Premier League, and then play in the Champions League.

“But they know that I recognise and appreciate the opportunity that they gave me.”

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15 Sep 2012