World Cup: Zinedine Zidane? Michel Platini? Or both?
France’s Antoine Griezmann proved once again that he is the ultimate team player with another virtuoso performance to help guide his team to a second consecutive World Cup final on Wednesday with their 2-0 win over Morocco.
Goals from Theo Hernandez and substitute Randal Kolo Muani made the difference for France but it was Griezmann’s combination of graft and guile at both ends of the pitch that caught the eye.
The Atletico Madrid forward has not scored a single goal at the World Cup in Qatar but has created several chances while also dropping deep and breaking up play.
Paul Pogba even suggested on Instagram that Griezmann was playing like France’s injured all-action defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante after another all-round performance against Morocco which earned the forward the Manof-the-Match award.
Former France World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry had even higher praise for Griezmann. He believes that Griezmann is playing like a blend between Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini.
“I even find him, at times, ‘Zidane-esque’. He always has the right tone, the right pass... We often lack rhythm in our game; there’s not a lot of intensity. But, as soon as Antoine touches the ball, he puts rhythm on a pass, on a vision. He has a mix of Zizou and Platini,” Dugarry told fifa.com.
Griezmann is just happy to help his team. “I feel good in my legs, in my mind... The work I did on vacation and later with Atleti did me good, it was what I needed. I try to help the team as much as possible, as always,” Griezmann said.
Victory set up a mouth-watering final with Lionel Messi’s Argentina, which will take place at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
“Any team with Messi is a different proposition. We’ve seen Argentina play, we know how they play, they’re a difficult team to play and they’re in top form,” Griezmann said.
“They have a strong side around Messi. We know they’ll have a lot of support in the crowd. We’ll see where we can hurt them and how we can defend against them. We’ll be well prepared.”
For Griezmann, it is a second consecutive World Cup final and the 31-year-old said he had learned to keep his emotions in check after he was moved to tears the last time (2018) they beat Belgium in the semi-final.
“Against Belgium I cried, I think now I’m more focused,” he said. “I’m already focused on the final on Sunday. I’m trying to keep my feet on the ground, remain composed, focus on recovery.”
Written with inputs from Reuters