Antoine Griezmann’s phenomenal run in the 2022 FIFA World Cup came to a painful end on Sunday as Argentina beat the French National Team on penalties to lift the coveted trophy. A second consecutive championship was not meant to be for Griezmann’s side as they were clearly second-best for over 70 minutes.
The Atletico Madrid star did not score a single goal in the competition, but provided three assists – the joint-highest in the tournament along with Bruno Fernandes, Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic.
Griezmann was France’s creator-in-chief throughout the course of the tournament, making things tick from a midfield role. Kylian Mbappe may have walked off with the Golden Boot, but one cannot deny that it was the former Barcelona man who was the heartbeat of the team.
Statistically, the 31-year-old recorded an expected assists tally (xA) of 3.63 in the tournament, the highest ever in the history of the World Cup. The next highest contenders are Diego Maradona with a figure of 3.46 in 1986 and Johan Cruyff with 3.23 in 1974.
The Atletico Madrid superstar created seven big chances in the tournament, once again the joint-highest, along with Golden Ball winner Messi.
Griezmann’s contribution will surely go down statistically in the history books as the best-ever performance by a supporting player in terms of created chances.
Despite that, however, the French international was overlooked when it came to individual accolades as it was Mbappe who won the Silver Ball behind Messi and Luka Modric of Croatia was awarded the Bronze Ball.
Griezmann has been in fine form for Atletico Madrid in La Liga too, scoring five goals and providing three assists in 14 appearances for the club.
Further, one must remember that his staggering league numbers stand despite his harsh treatment and exclusion from action at the beginning of the season.
If the player can retain his high level for the rest of the season, Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid can hope for redemption and a strong comeback. It is no secret that Griezmann is fundamental to his club’s plans and success, and the coming weeks look bright for both parties.
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”
He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”
And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.
“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.
“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”
“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.
And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.
“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo