French striker Antoine Griezmann appeared to take a bit of a swipe at Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, after scoring the first goal in France's 2-1 victory of Croatia on Wednesday in the UEFA Nations League.
Griezmann started the game and scored the opening goal after just 11 minutes, with a neat finish from inside the penalty area. When asked about his thoughts after the match by French media outlet L'Equipe, the 29-year-old striker heaped praise on France manager Didier Deschamps for playing him in a central role.
"It was a complicated match, not a very good to watch, not very good to play either... On a soft ground, it was difficult against an opponent who had to win. We knew how to suffer and the most important thing is to win, to show that we are strong defensively. Up front, every small opportunity can be taken," said Griezmann.
" I feel good. The coach knows where to play me, I took advantage of this situation, this place and the confidence of the coach and my teammates," Griezmann added.
Griezmann is determined to show Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman that he prefers playing as a striker
Griezmann's praise for Didier Deschamps on playing him in his preferred position could be construed as a jibe at Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, who has played Griezmann on the right wing in the opening three games of the La Liga campaign.
Griezmann joined Barcelona in the summer of 2019 from Atletico Madrid in a €120 million deal, making him the joint-fourth most expensive football player of all-time.
Much was expected of Griezmann when he arrived at the Camp Nou after the Frenchman enjoyed a stellar five years at Atletico Madrid, where he scored 94 goals in 180 La Liga games. Griezmann broke the club's scoring record for a debut season and was named in the 2014–15 La Liga Team of the Season.
He was also named La Liga Best Player in 2016 and finished third for both the 2016 Ballon d'Or and the 2016 Best FIFA Men's Player awards. The Frenchman helped Atlético win the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, scoring twice in the final. Griezmann also won the 2014 Supercopa de España and 2018 UEFA Super Cup during his time in Madrid.
Griezmann has struggled to find his feet at Barcelona, scoring just the nine goals in 35 appearances in his first season at the club. Griezmann was excited at the prospect of working with new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman this season, as he looked to refind his form.
However, Griezmann has been deployed on the right wing at Barcelona so far this season, a position that he does not favour. Griezmann prefers to play in a more central role and seems determined to show Koeman what his best position is by putting in some strong performances for France whilst on international duty.Published 15 Oct 2020, 20:19 IST