Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Griezmann, the lighthouse that illuminates France at the World Cup

DOHA ( Associated Press) – Kylian Mbappé is a turbine. Olivier Giroud always says that he is present in the meeting with the target. More discreet, but equally fundamental to France, is the figure of Antoine Griezmann.

On the eve of their World Cup semi-final against Morocco, coach Didier Deschamps reiterated his praise for the “Little Prince”‘s work in Qatar in France’s effort to become the first defending champions in 60 years.

“He has the ability to change the face of the team,” Deschamps said on Tuesday. “Always think of the collective before everything else. He works hard, doesn’t hesitate to make a tackle or throw a pass in attack. He sacrificed himself for the team. He does it with a very intense mindset.

The coach is by no means exaggerating about the 31-year-old all-rounder.

His contribution in the 2–1 victory over England in the quarter-finals confirmed his impact.

Embappé (with his milestone in untimeliness), Giroud (historic goalscorer) and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (appearances) have broken several Les Bleus records at this World Cup. Griezmann is not lagging behind

The assist he scored against England left him as the top assister in team history.

He reached 28 assists to move above Thierry Henry (27) and Zinedine Zidane (26) on the all-time table. Deposit three in Qatar 2022 to share the lead with English Harry Kane and Portuguese Bruno Fernandes.

Deschamps’ great tactical success for the tournament in the Middle East was the inclusion of Griezmann as a creative force in midfield. Having lost Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante to injuries in previous weeks, they had no choice but to improve.

Griezmann willingly agreed to step back in order to assume a more complete role in the French network, giving the impression that he is in everything – from facilitating the movement of the ball to dirtying the attacking actions of the opponent team.

The statistics back up the enormity of his third consecutive World Cup, even though he is yet to score a goal.

The Atlético de Madrid player appears first in chances created, with 17, one more than Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

“He is the most important player in France,” highlighted retired Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan in an interview for French sports newspaper L’Equipe.

Deschamps hopes for more on Wednesday at the Al Bayt Stadium.

“With his left foot, he has the ability to light up the game, and his generosity is above the average player,” said the coach. “He has been playing at the highest level for 10 years and has the ability to show his best level in the most transcendental matches.”

Nation World News Desk
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