In difficulty in Barcelona, the French striker relies on the selection to launch his new season. From this evening in Sweden.
Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. For over a year now, there are two Antoine Griezmanns. That of Barcelona, in doubt, worried and far from his best level, then the one, lodger, prisoner and decisive, with the France team. This week, in Clairefontaine, the eighth top scorer in the history of the Blues comes back to life. Like a breath of fresh air, he rediscovered the pleasure of the selection for the first time in more than ten months, a place where he weighs all his weight (78 capes, 30 goals) and all his influence.
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Far from the turbulence of Catalonia which keeps commenting on the real-false start of Lionel Messi and is barely recovering from the humiliation suffered by Barça in the quarter-final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich (8- 2) last August 14. Match during which the French entered only at the break, where the case was already folded (4-1). Sign of a lower status, even crumbling, with his club and of an almost non-existent relationship with the now unemployed, Quique Setién, that the French will not keep in his heart. Monday, at the castle, Didier Deschamps welcomed a player eager to turn the page of a disappointing season and eager to redo the icing with these two meetings of the comeback against Sweden on Saturday (8:45 p.m., M6) and the Croatia Tuesday (8:45 p.m., TF1). As usual, the two men have discussed at length in recent days on the current situation, and the coach has, as always, reiterated his confidence in a man he launched in blue in March 2014 against the Netherlands.
“The Blues are his valve, day and night with Barcelona. He has an unshakeable relationship of trust with the coach, who can ask anything of him on the pitch. Antoine is a boy who walks with affect, and that’s what he’s been missing at Barcelona this season. Deschamps and Simeone (the former coach of Griezmann in Madrid, Editor’s note) understood it very quickly. “
Since then, the duo have learned to discover each other, to know each other, and the 29-year-old striker is now posing as one of the great bosses of the world champions. Anything but trivial if “DD” intends to change the game system and move his team to 3-5-2 against Sweden on Saturday night, as was the case against Albania last November (2-0 victory). Evening where Antoine Griezmann had excelled in a playmaker role behind two attackers. He is expected in a similar situation this Saturday night at Solna. “I want to put him in the best possible conditions”, Deschamps never ceases to remind about a player he adores for his volume of play, his mentality and his ability to play. shoulder the responsibilities. “He’s a leader, and he has the shoulders to take the pressure. I would even say that he loves it, plant Robert Pirès, world champion 1998 and who will comment on the meeting for M6 on Saturday night. This change of system is also a kind of outstretched hand of “DD” for Griezmann. “
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Meeting Koeman reassured her about her future and role at Barcelona
The principal concerned knows this and accommodates it without batting an eyelid. Quite the contrary. As transfigured and on conquered ground. “The Blues are his valve, day and night with Barcelona, blows us a close to the selection. He has an unshakeable relationship of trust with the coach, who can ask anything of him on the pitch. Antoine is a boy who walks with affect, and that’s what he’s been missing at Barcelona this season. Deschamps and Simeone (the former coach of Griezmann in Madrid, Editor’s note) understood it very quickly. “In Barcelona, whether with Ernesto Valverde or Quique Setién, the Frenchman has never felt excessive confidence from the two technicians. Between incomprehension in management and dubious placement in the field, nothing has been done for optimal integration. From there to imagine a departure of the Mâconnais by the end of the transfer window? Certainly not. Ronald Koeman, newly arrived from the Netherlands and formerly of the Catalan house in the 1990s, wanted to reassure the French. With a very clear message: under his orders, he will occupy a central role in a positioning that he appreciates, namely the heart of the game. A speech which had the gift of making the former Atlético player smile again Madrid, came out very marked from his disappointing first season at Camp Nou (44 games, 11 goals) and from the slap received against the future Munich European champion.
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During the fifteen days of leave granted by his club before joining the selection, “Grizou” took the opportunity to recharge his batteries with his family, with his family, with his wife and two children. With the fierce desire to approach the new season ambitious on many levels. In club, to regain the La Liga title left behind at Real Madrid from Zidane and to erase the humiliation of 8-2, but also in selection with dreams of a World Cup-Euro double anchored in mind. The Griezmann “remountada” begins Saturday night in Solna, then Tuesday against the Croats at the Stade de France. Les Bleus and Didier Deschamps are asking for just that.
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