Antoine Griezmann sharpens his fangs in Champions. The Frenchman is Simeone’s trusted man, he earned it in his first stage and in this second nothing has changed. His double in the quarterfinals against Barça, the goal that served to get into the final and leave Bayern by the gutter, the victory in the quarterfinals against Leicester, a hopeful penalty in the semifinals against Real Madrid … Thus up to a total of 21 goals that the forward had sealed in the retina of the rojiblanco fan in the maximum European competition already those who have added a fundamental goal in Milan, a brace against Liverpool and the mischief against Porto that once again praise him as a key man.
The top scorer in the club’s history in the tournament (In the Europa League he also showed his affinity with the goal with a double in the final against Marseille included) became the figure of Atlético in the group stage, achieving four of the team’s seven goals and assisting Correa in the 0-2 of the sentence in Porto. He was also about to make the third, but his shot was saved by Oliveira on the line and De Paul clinched it in his mattress debut.
All this taking into account that Griezmann was out at Anfield because of the red that he had seen in the 2-3 of the Wanda Metropolitano, when his expulsion ended with the great rojiblanca comeback. El Cholo fought until the last market day for his return and the Frenchman is giving it back with goals… and with a non-negotiable effort. The one that led him to position himself as left lane for the red one of Carrasco, a soldier in defense without sparing a career or an effort and who returned him to the lead by sacrificing before a Cunha who had already come off the bench due to Suárez’s injury. And the plan went well for Simeone, since Griezmann ended up also participating in the last two goals, with a deep deflection and precise assistance for Correa, who defined marvelously, and the arrival from the second row in the goal that De Paul ended up converting.
The first had been forged from set pieces, once again being the smartest in the class to push the ball into the net at the far post after a ball combed by a Porto player himself.. The Frenchman has been convincing the most reluctant of his return with performance and sweat, trying to regain that level that led him to finish twice as a Bronze Ball in his first athletic stage. And before him he has a great challenge ahead. To return to being who he was, Griezmann knows that his fundamental role is to be decisive in the face of goal at key moments. Something that led him to be the team’s top scorer in each of his five seasons before leaving for Barcelona on a goal he wants to do again.
For the moment, He has been cutting Suárez until he was within a single goal of the Uruguayan, who left Porto injured. The Uruguayan has seven goals in the League and one in the Champions League, for Griezmann’s three in domestic competition and four in Europe. The ‘8’ is still lacking that ability to appear between the lines and have more contact with the ball from the midfielder, pero at night where the team played a good part of the season and its economic support re-emerged as a lifeline for a victory that is worth gold. Oblak in goal and Griezmann up front, just like old times.
“It is a pride for me to have returned, I am enjoying a lot”, Declared the forward himself at the end of the match after collecting the award as UEFA MVP. At Atlético he was always happy, and there are things in life that it is better not to change. If Cholo was referring to the ‘Suarez zone’ at the end of LaLiga, the crucial moment in which the Uruguayan always appears, in Champions it has its own ‘Griezmann zone’. A treasure in your trusted striker, who is willing to give you back every bit of support based on nights of glory.