SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) - Chelsea’s youngsters should look up to Olivier Giroud as a shining example of professionalism, manager Frank Lampard said after the 34-year-old Frenchman scored four goals in their 4-0 Champions League demolition of Sevilla on Wednesday.
Giroud, who has struggled for game time at Stamford Bridge this season with a host of quality new signings available to Lampard, made the most of a rare start with a vintage display which left his boss purring.
“He is the ultimate professional,” Lampard said after Chelsea secured the top spot in Group E with a match to spare.
“He isn’t always a regular but his performances have shown that he is a great sign for young players to keep training well. It was an amazing performance, to score four goals in the Champions League is a fantastic achievement.
“It was a complete performance and I am delighted for him.”
At 34 years and 63 days, Giroud became the oldest player to score a Champions League hat-trick and also the oldest to do it in the European Cup since former Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas did so in September 1965 for Real Madrid against Feyenoord.
It was the second time the France striker had netted four in a game in his career but the previous occasion will seem like a distant memory as it came in the French second division for Tours against Arles-Avignon in 2009.
Giroud acknowledged he had a memorable night against Europa League holders Sevilla, who were lucky not to have lost by a bigger margin to the rampant visitors.
“When I am on the pitch I just try to enjoy it,” he said.
“I try to be patient and keep the faith, I just try to give something else to the team. Sometimes you feel anything can happen and this night was one of them.”