History Of Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃twan ɡʁijɛzman];[3] born 21 March 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the French national team.

He began his career at Real Sociedad, making his debut in 2009 and winning the Segunda División title in his first season. Across five seasons there, he scored 52 goals in 201 official matches. In 2014, he transferred to Atlético Madrid for €30 million. For his performances throughout 2016, he was shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or 2016 Award in which he finished in third place.

Griezmann is a former French youth international, representing his country at under-19, under-20 and under-21 level. He was part of the team that won the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship on home soil. He earned his first cap for the senior national team in 2014 and played at that year’s World Cup, helping the country to the quarter-finals. Griezmann was the top scorer and Player of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 2016, where the French hosts were runners-up following a 1–0 defeat to Portugal.

Griezmann was born in the commune of Mâcon in the département of Saône-et-Loire. His father Alain, a town councillor,[4] is of Alsatian descent, hence the Germanic surname.[5] His mother Isabelle, a former hospital cleaner, is of Portuguese descent, and her father Amaro Lopes was a Portuguese footballer for F.C. Paços de Ferreira.[4] Amaro Lopes came to France with his wife Carolina to work in construction in 1957, where Isabelle was born, and he died in 1992 when his grandson was an infant.[4] As a child, Griezmann often spent his holidays in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal.[4]

Griezmann began his career playing for hometown club UF Mâcon.[6] While there, he embarked on several trials with professional clubs in order to earn a spot in one of their youth academies, but was rejected because clubs questioned his size and lightweight frame.[6]

In 2005, while on trial with Montpellier, Griezmann played in a friendly match against the youth academy of Paris Saint-Germain in Paris, and impressed several clubs, notably Spanish club Real Sociedad, whose scouts were attending the event. Following the match, the club’s officials offered Griezmann a one-week trial in San Sebastián, which he accepted. He was later offered a second-week stay at the club. The club then contacted his parents and formally offered the player a youth contract. Griezmann’s parents were initially reluctant to have their son move to Spain, but allowed him to make the move after positive reassurances.

Youth
Griezmann with France U21s in 2011

Due to playing in Spain, Griezmann went unnoticed by several France youth international coaches.[56] After his success with Real Sociedad, on 23 February 2010, he was named to the France under-19 team to play in two friendly matches against Ukraine. On 2 March, Griezmann made his youth international debut appearing in the team’s 0–0 draw with Ukraine.[57] In the return leg two days later, he scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute to give France a 2–1 victory.[58]

On 7 June 2010, Griezmann was named to coach Francis Smerecki’s 18-man squad to participate in the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship.[59] In the tournament, he scored two goals and provided an assist in the team’s second group stage match against Austria, a 5–0 win, as the national team eventually won the competition on home soil.[60][61][62] He was named in the Team of the Tournament.[63]

Due to France’s victory at the UEFA Under-19 championship, the nation qualified for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which merited under-20 team appearances for Griezmann. On 28 September 2010, he was called up to the team to participate in friendly matches against Portugal and the reserve team of Italian club Juventus. Griezmann, however, did not appear in either match due to being sent home early after suffering a thigh injury during a training session.[64] The following month, despite still being eligible to appear at under-20 level, he was called up to the under-21 team by coach Erick Mombaerts as a replacement for the injured Gabriel Obertan to play in a friendly match against Russia.[65] Griezmann made his under-21 debut in the match appearing as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 defeat.[66]

After appearing in two matches with the under-21 team, Griezmann returned to under-20 level and made his debut with the team on 9 February 2011 in a 2–1 victory over England at the New Meadow, assisting Clément Grenier’s equaliser.[67] On 10 June 2011, he was named to the 21-man squad to participate in the U-20 World Cup. He made his debut in the competition on 30 July 2011 in the team’s 4–1 defeat to the hosts Colombia.[68] On 10 August, in France’s Round of 16 match against Ecuador, Griezmann scored the game-winning goal in a 1–0 victory.[69]

In November 2012, Griezmann was suspended, along with four other youth players, from France’s national teams until 31 December 2013 for disciplinary reasons regarding a late night out before training.[70] During this time, he considered switching allegiance to his ancestral Portugal.

Senior
Griezmann with Rémy Cabella during a friendly against Armenia in October 2014

On 27 February 2014, Griezmann received a call-up to France’s senior squad by coach Didier Deschamps to play in a friendly against the Netherlands at the Stade de France.[71] He earned his first cap on 5 March, appearing as a starter in the 2–0 home win and playing the first 68 minutes.[72]
2014 World Cup

On 13 May, he was named in Deschamps’ squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[73] On 1 June, playing against Paraguay in Nice, he scored his first international goal for France, opening a 1–1 draw. He added two more as a late substitute for Olivier Giroud in France’s final warm-up match, against Jamaica on 8 June, the final two in an 8–0 win.[74] On 15 June, he was selected to start in France’s first match of the World Cup, replacing the injured Franck Ribéry on the left side of Les Bleus’ attack as they defeated Honduras 3–0 in Porto Alegre.[75] In the last 16 against Nigeria, his pressure led to Joseph Yobo scoring a late own goal for a 2–0 French victory;[76] France were eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual champions Germany.[77]
Euro 2016
Griezmann (left) in action for France during Euro 2016

Griezmann was chosen for France as they hosted UEFA Euro 2016, and started the opening game, a 2–1 win over Romania.[78] For their performances, he and Paul Pogba were benched for the next game against Albania at the Stade Vélodrome; Griezmann came on in place of Giroud in the second half and headed Adil Rami’s cross with the first shot on target in the last minute to open a 2–0 win.[79] In the last 16 against the Republic of Ireland in Lyon, he scored twice as the French recovered from a half-time deficit to win 2–1, and was also fouled by Shane Duffy who was given a straight red card.[80] On 3 July, Griezmann assisted Pogba and Dimitri Payet before scoring himself in a 5–2 quarter-final win over Iceland; it was his first goal at the Stade de France.[81] In the semi-finals against Germany four days later, he scored twice in a 2–0 victory to lead France to their third European Championship final.[82] Following a 1–0 defeat to Portugal in the final on 10 July, Griezmann won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, with six goals and two assists in seven games, and was named the tournament’s best player, also being named to the team of the tournament.[83][84][85] His tally at the tournament was second only to the nine goals by compatriot Michel Platini at Euro 1984.