Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid & France's very own 'Ronaldo' could have been a Premier League superstar!
Atletico Madrid & France star Antoine Griezmann has fired his teams into two consecutive European finals, but could he have been elsewhere?
Arsenal legend and one-of-a-kind hitman Thierry Henry is an Invicible, a treble winner and a World Cup finalist with his beloved France (the UEFA Euro 2016 hosts). He’s scored over 400 career goals, and is widely recognized as one of the most golden strikers ever. When a living legend like that refers to you as “our go-to guy, our extra guy, our Ronaldo”, then you must truly be something special. After firing 6 goals in 6 games to put France in the European Championship final, Atletico Madrid’s 25yr-old striker Antoine Griezmann most certainly is!
One of La Liga’s most lethal strikers with 32 goals, he sniped down everyone in front of him to guide Diego Simeone’s men to the Champions League final, netting 7 European goals along the way. Unfortunately, he had one of the most difficult matches he will ever have in the final, missing a host of chances (including a penalty). If anyone thought he’d be low on confidence or that he was not the real deal, he’s answered them with incredible ferocity. On Thursday night, he smashed world champions Germany down with a top-class double, showing of his very special celebration. After a huge final disappointment, he’s made sure he got another chance almost immediately – the hallmark of every top striker. With every goal and every performance, his stock (and value) rises from the £12million Real Sociedad quoted a famous Premier League club for him just 2 years ago.
Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool? No – not even Arsenal. Back in January 2014, Real Sociedad offered Griezmann for just £12million to turmoil-struck club Fulham FC. They turned him down, as they figured it was too much for the Frenchman who would go on to finish the season with 20 goals! And that’s not it – not only did they turn down the 2016 Champions League & Euro finalist, they opted for Kostas Mitroglou instead! He was a huge flop, making just 3 appearances – 2 of them as a sub. Wait, though; it gets better! The real kicker? How much do you think they paid for him?
That’s right – £12.5million, a club transfer record! With that kind of decision-making, it’s little surprise they were relegated just a few months later, and finished 20th in the Championship last season. As for Antoine, he’s about to contest a second European final in just 2 months – once more against Cristiano Ronaldo, the man his country expects (and believes) he can best in the UEFA Euro 2016 final. With 3 goals more than all his competitors for the Euro Top Scorer, he’s almost bound to win the award. Mitroglou’s Greece isn’t even here – what a twist!