Antoine Griezmann’s 32nd goal for France might have been an inconsequential deflected shot from range in a 7-1 friendly victory over Ukraine, but it was a symbolic strike that carried him past Zinedine Zidane to push him into the top five goalscorers of all time for his nation.

Having also won the 2018 World Cup – and with it the Bronze Ball and the Silver Boot – the Macon-born star is set to go down in the annals of history as being one of Les Bleus’ greatest players.

He has also ensured a similar status for himself at Atletico Madrid, where he played from 2014, but since making his big summer move to Barcelona in the summer of 2019, things have not worked out.

During the club’s scruffy 2019-20 campaign, he scored 15 goals and added four assists in 48 games under two different coaches and struggled to justify his presence to such an extent that by the time football restarted after lockdown he was out of the team as much as in it. For a transfer fee of €120 million (£109m/$142m), it was a desperately poor return.

He appears to have fared no better after the summer revolution at Camp Nou. Shedding numerous members of the first-team squad, including striker Luis Suarez, Griezmann might have expected a greater opportunity to shine under new boss Ronald Koeman, yet the Dutchman has pitched him into a wide-right position that he does not favour. Continue reading

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