After a trying period at Barcelona and a trying return to Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann was wondering about La Liga less than two years ago, but on Sunday he could lay claim to being France’s best player.
Griezmann has been the cornerstone of France’s success since Didier Deschamps took over in 2012. Kylian Mbappe, who may win the tournament’s Golden Boot, will also become a double world champion if Les Bleus defeat Argentina in the final at the Lusail Stadium.
He has participated in a record 73 straight games for France, helped his team win the 2018 World Cup, and led them to the Euro 2016 final. This season, he has successfully switched positions to the midfield, setting a new record.
As the second-highest goal scorer at the 2018 World Cup and the top scorer at Euro 2016, Griezmann has modified his role when Didier Deschamps was forced to realign his midfield as a result of the absences of Ngolo Kante, Paul Pogba, and Karim Benzema.
Griezmann, who has been enjoying his new role and is the ideal player to cause havoc between the lines thanks to his cunning, skill, and grace, didn’t pout.
“Being well physically helps me a lot. There are no problems in my private life,” said Griezmann. “In my head I had tough moments at Barca and last year when I came back to Atletico. It was complicated, I had to make myself very small, I had to find myself, on and off the pitch.”
Griezmann has regained his former size. very, very large.
“GriezmannKante”, Pogba labelled his team mate on social media after the 2-0 semi-final win against Morocco.
“He has surprised me but he has the quality and intelligence to do it. He looks more like Kante than Griezmann,” said former Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
Griezmann’s enthusiasm off the field has also played a crucial role in France’s victory. He not only serves as the link between the midfield and the front line on the field, but he also fosters a positive environment within the club by connecting the younger players with the team veterans.
To the tune of Gala’s “Freed from desire,” Griezmann, 31, has been leading the post-game celebration dances in the locker room while chanting, “Vive la Republique, vive la France!”
Griezmann has not scored in his previous 15 matches for France, but with 28 assists, he has become the top goal supplier in team history.
It makes sense that he is Deschamps’ principal teammate and the person with whom he discusses strategies on the field.
Griezmann believes Deschamps owes him a lot for constantly having faith in him, but the coach is also conscious of the player’s significance.
“He’s the type of player who can really change a team because he’s so hard working and so technically gifted,” said Deschamps.
“He’s playing a slightly different role in this World Cup, but it suits him well. As I said earlier, he likes defending just as much as attacking and being a playmaker.
“Of course, his main responsibility isn’t ball winning; his left foot is so wonderful, he creates great chances for others. He’s someone who always thinks of the good of the team above everything else. He’s extremely hard working, probably more so than most players.”
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