Griezmann: 'Losing two finals biggest disappointment in my career'

The striker downplayed rumours linking him to a move away from the Calderon, saying he wants to win trophies with Atletico Madrid.

Antoine Griezmann feels Diego Simeone has had a big role to play in his career.   -  Reuters

Antoine Griezmann had a fantastic 2016, with his club Atletico Madrid and with the France national team. He was nominated for the FIFA Best Men’s player of the year award alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He reached the finals of the Champions League and EURO 2016, but ended on the losing side both the times.

“I’ve got some great memories of last season, but losing the Champions League final and the EURO final with France were two of the biggest disappointments of my career. That’s why one of my main short-term objectives is to get back into a final. And I’m convinced that when it happens, I’ll be on the winning side.” Griezmann said in an interview to FIFA.com

Griezmann hasn’t watched those two games on TV since, and recalling them, he said: “The days of the matches – both before and during the games – were just amazing. They were the first finals I’ve played in and losing them was not easy. I’ve never liked losing, ever since I was a boy in Macon, my hometown. I couldn’t watch other teams lifting trophies. And the same thing happened with Real Madrid in the Champions League. EURO 2016 was different. I watched the Portuguese celebrating because I told myself that it would be my turn the next time and that I couldn’t have any better motivation than that.”

Diego Simeone has had a big role to play in Griezmann’s career and he is one of the reasons why Frenchman is now one of the most wanted strikers in Europe. “He’s changed me. He’s brought so many things to my game that it's hard to even begin to say what they are. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t have been regarded as one of the best players in the world if it weren’t for him. More than anything he’s helped me to be more effective in front of goal, to take every chance that comes my way, and, of course, to run and run and work hard for the team. You can’t make it at Atletico if you don’t do that.”

He also recalled what Simeone had told him after the Champions League final, in which Griezmann had missed one of the penalties in the shootout, “I felt it was my fault we lost because I missed a penalty. He came up to me and told me the opposite was true, that I’d been vital to the team, that I shouldn’t worry about it and that it was time for us to start working hard again to get back into the final.”

The striker downplayed rumours linking him to a move away from the Calderon, saying he wants to win trophies with Atletico Madrid “I feel great at the club and in Madrid. On a personal level I’m very happy, and in football terms we’re about to move to a new stadium, which is very important. We’ll just have to see what the future brings, but for now I’m very happy here and I hope to win trophies with this club.”

Griezmann had moved to Spain at the age of 18, and he said he feels a lot more Spanish now, “Yes, the fact is I do feel very Spanish: I eat at two in the afternoon; I talk to my wife and daughter in Spanish; I even think in Spanish when I get angry! So, yes, it’s true. Things change completely when I pull on the national team jersey, though. All my love is for France when that happens, no doubt about it.”

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