Giroud: I'm moving up a level

Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud has admitted to being overwhelmed by his France call-up, but says he hopes it will lead to more opportunities to represent his country.

The 25-year-old was rewarded for a strong start to the current Ligue 1 season with a place in Laurent Blanc's France squad for the friendlies at home against USA on Friday and Belgium four days later.

Giroud, who is Ligue 1's joint-top scorer with eight goals, is likely to start on the bench against the United States, but says he is already soaking up his surroundings at France's famed Clairefontaine training base.

"I came here ten years ago for an under-15 get-together, but I never went in," Giroud said. "It's very pretty and there's also lots of emotion, with all the pictures of the great players on the walls. I'm taking photos with my eyes to remember it, but I hope to come back and that this call-up leads to others."

Giroud also confessed that he had already betrayed his unfamiliarity with his new surroundings. "When I got here, I got the wrong door," he said. "They all said: 'You must be the little new boy!' But everything else went pretty normally."

I'm playing efficiently and performing well, and everything's going well with Montpellier.
Olivier Giroud, Montpellier forward

Giroud's call-up meant there was no place in the squad for Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis or Lazio's Djibril Cisse, but he believes he has earned the right to join the national set-up.

"I'm the joint-top scorer and we (Montpellier) are second (in Ligue 1), so I really hoped to be involved," Giroud said. "I won't say that it was an obvious choice but I really wanted it. I think it was the right moment.

"I'm playing efficiently and performing well, and everything's going well with Montpellier. I think I'm moving up a level. I think it's deserved."

Giroud's performances are sure to have attracted the attention of some of Europe's leading clubs and he admitted that it was his ambition to sample life in the English Premier League. "I don't want to bad-mouth Montpellier by saying that, if I get an offer from a big club, I'll leave," he said.

"But I'm ambitious. I dream about playing in the European Cup and that will be what determines things. I've always said that I dream of playing in England, but I don't know if I'd need to move somewhere else in France first."