Olivier Giroud insisted it was a dream come true to have had beaten Arsenal in the Europa League Final.
The French striker declared that upon drawing the Gunners, he had a special feeling ahead of what would be the ultimate London derby under the lights in Baku.
Giroud went on to be directly involved in three out of the four goals scored past Petr Cech as Chelsea sealed the club's second Europa League trophy.
‘It was a special night’
The 33-year-old World Cup winner joined Arsenal back in 2012 from Montpellier for a figure just shy of £11million.
Giroud went on to make 253 appearances for the Gunners before swapping the Emirates for Stamford Bridge in a bid to win more trophies.
France’s third all-time top goal scorer claimed he had a special feeling ahead of the final against his former team.
“That final against Arsenal was obviously very special for me emotionally,” he said. “When I saw that we were going to face Arsenal in the final, I knew it was going to be special.
“On top of that, it was only a year after I left. I have quite a lot of friends over there, people who work in the club’s offices. That was extra motivation for me, and I knew that it was going to be a high-pressure match.
“You definitely prepare for the match in a special way, in a different way, because you know that they know you inside out, and they know that I know them well too.
“You have to plan for the match but not play the match before it’s happened. You have to think ahead. I thought that if I had a one-on-one with Cech, who knows me really well, or a penalty, I would have to shoot there and not somewhere else.
“I knew that he knew me really well. I was also going to play against my friend Laurent Koscielny, who has also known me inside-out for years because we started together at Tours in 2008.
“It was a very special moment, but it was like extra motivation for me because I wanted to show them that I still had some energy in me, and some good years left in me.”
‘It was like a dream’
Giroud showed no signs of putting his foot on the brakes in Baku against his former side, netting one, assisting one and winning a penalty.
He claimed he felt as if he was in a dream. The perfect cup final. Giroud said:
“I scored, I got an assist and I won the penalty so quite a lot of good things happened there for me because I was involved in three goals out of the four that we scored,’ he states. ‘It was like in a dream because I couldn’t have imagined that it would go so well, so perfectly for us.
“I wanted to win things at Chelsea - that’s why I was even more motivated that night - but winning against your old club like that.
“It’s all about winning. That final was even more special because it was against Arsenal, and I went out there to win the trophy. That’s how you can leave your mark on history, by writing your name in the record books.”