Antoine Griezmann Profile
|Born||Mar 21, 1991|
A World Cup winner with a passion for gaming as well as his actions on the pitch, Antoine Griezmann is a top-quality striker who helped his country lift the Jules Rimet Trophy in 2018.
Antoine Griezmann is a French soccer player who currently plays as a forward for Barcelona. The France international has played all his club football in Spain, with spells at Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid before joining Barca in the summer of 2019. He started out playing in a wide position but converted to a more central role after leaving Sociedad.
Griezmann won the Europa League with Atletico while also lifting the Supercopa de Espana and the UEFA Super Cup. He was also part of France's 2018 World Cup-winning side and was named man of the match in the final.
While a prolific goalscorer at Atletico, his numbers have dropped off in recent years, and he struggled to find the net during his first season with Barca. However, his all-round qualities make him a vital asset to any team and he is able to play up front or just behind the main striker to give support.
Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona
Griezmann moved to Barcelona from Atletico for $146m in July 2019 to end a protracted transfer saga. The Catalans wanted him the previous summer but he remained in Madrid for one more season. His decision to delay the move by 12 months angered Barca legend Lionel Messi, who had publicly pushed for the move to happen. There was said to be some animosity between the pair after he arrived but they apparently settled their differences. Controversies over the fee paid threatened to scupper the move but he made his Barcelona debut against Athletic Bilbao in August 2019.
He then scored twice on his home debut in a 5-2 victory over Real Betis and opened his Champions League account in November against Borussia Dortmund. However, the expected avalanche of goals failed to materialise and Griezmann scored 15 from 48 appearances in all competitions and just nine in La Liga.
Problems surrounding his relationship with Messi resurfaced at the start of the 2020/21 campaign after an interview given by his uncle and former agent. It alleged that his time at Camp Nou had been made harder by Messi's attitude towards him. Although he distanced himself from the quotes, Barca fans took umbrage and were seen surrounding his car as he drove away, demanding he show respect towards their Argentinian idol.
He also struggled on the pitch in the early part of 2020/21, further angering the Catalan fans.
Griezmann at Atletico Madrid
Griezmann spent five seasons with Atletico after moving from Sociedad in the summer of 2014 for a fee thought to be in the region of £24million. It was at the Wanda Metropolitano that he really began turning heads, with 133 goals from 257 appearances in all competitions. He made his competitive debut in the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana, with Atleti lifting the trophy.
Further success followed when he scored twice in the final of the 2017/18 Europa League as Atletico beat Marseille 2-1. Griezmann was in the Atleti side that lost on penalties to fierce rivals Real Madrid in the final of the 2015/16 Champions League.
Having scored 25 goals in his debut season, he notched 32 in 2015/16 and 26 during the following campaign. In 2017/18, he managed 29 and hit 21 during his last season in the Spanish capital.
After seemingly etching his name in Atletico folklore by rejecting a move to Barca in 2018, he then angered the fans by leaving for Camp Nou 12 months later. It was the nature of the transfer that annoyed all at the Metropolitano, with the player agreeing to move to Barcelona before July 1 2019, significantly lowering his release clause. That was disputed by club officials but the fee they received was $146m.
It certainly soured the Atletico fans' view of their former hero and a plaque erected for the striker outside the stadium was vandalised in protest.
International success with France
France boss Didier Deschamps handed Griezmann his debut in March 2014 and he scored his first goal against Paraguay in a World Cup warm-up match two months later. He was selected for Les Bleus' 2014 World Cup squad, with France eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Goals dried up in 2015 but he was back on form the following year, bagging eight in 2016. Six of those came at Euro 2016 where he won the Golden Boot and was also named the tournament's best player, although France lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final.
They went one better in the 2018 World Cup, with a 4-2 triumph over Croatia in the final. Griezmann was named man of the match after scoring his fourth goal of the tournament and assisting two others. He received the Bronze Ball after being voted the third best player of the tournament behind Luka Modric and Eden Hazard.
Griezmann married Erika Choperena on June 15, 2017. The couple have two children. Daughter Mia was born on April 8, 2016 and son Amaro was born exactly three years later, sharing a birthday with his sister.
His sister Maud survived the 2015 terrorist attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris while his younger brother, Theo, is a professional footballer who plays for Sporting Macon.
During his time playing for Sociedad and Atletico, Griezmann formed friendships with a number of Uruguayan players. Out of respect for the country he did not celebrate when scoring the goal at the 2018 World Cup that knocked the South American nation out of the competition.
According to Forbes, Griezmann is worth in the region of $61.5m and is one of the highest-paid players in the sport. He is said to have earned $20.5m in basic salary in 2020, with another $6.8m coming in endorsements.
He has also promoted sportswear products for German company Puma and is a brand ambassador for Head & Shoulders shampoo and Gillette, appearing in a number of television commercials. He is a global brand ambassador for Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Huawei.
A keen gamer, he launched his own esports organisation, Grizi Esport in early 2020.