October 4, 2018

Player Feature: Antoine Griezmann scores 8000th Champions League goal

Atletico Madrid’s Goal Machine

Full Name: Antoine Griezmann

Birthdate: March 21, 1991

Place of Birth: France

Football Club (Currently): Atletico Madrid

Position(s): Forward/Winger

Playing Years: 2009 to present

Formative Years:

Antoine Griezmann began playing football at his hometown club UF Macon, taking on a number of trial trainings with professional clubs to obtain a place in one of their youth academies. However, he was declined due to his size and lanky frame. While he was on a trial with French club Montpellier in 2005, he played in a scrimmage against the youth academy of Paris Saint-Germain. He captivated several professional clubs present during the game, most notably, Spanish club Real Sociedad. He was offered a two-week trial with Real Sociedad, and then was later offered an official youth contract.  

Football Career:

Real Sociedad

When Griezmann moved to Sociedad’s home base in San Sebastian, it took him a while to break into the club’s first team. Four years after his transfer, he made his debut in the team’s youth system for the 2009-10 pre-season campaign. He notched five goals in four matches, and an injury to the club’s regular winger led to him being included in the starting team for the season.

He made his competitive debut in 2009 during a match against Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey. He made his league debut four days after later, playing as a substitute in a game with Real Murcia. Griezmann appeared regularly in the team for the rest of the season, helping secure victories against Cadiz and Numancia as the team advanced to the La Liga for the 2010-11 season as winners.

His performance during his youth career attracted the attention of several professional clubs such as Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Manchester United, and Arsenal. However, he stayed with Real Sociedad, signing a five-year contract with the club and making his debut in the La Liga in 2010 during the season’s opening match. He spent his last season with Sociedad, winning goals and helping the club qualify for the 2013-14 season Champions League group stage fixtures.

Atletico Madrid

At the start of the 2014-15 season, he signed a six-year contract with Atletico Madrid. He made his competitive debut with the club during the first leg of the 2014 Supercopa de Espana in a match against Real Madrid. In November, he secured the team’s 4-2 victory against Cordoba when he scored a brace, his first league goals for the Spanish club. The following month, he netted his first La Liga hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao, claiming a 4-1 win. Griezmann was awared the La Liga Player of the Month for January 2015 despite appearing in only three out of Atletico’s five matches.

The next season, he provided the goals that secured the club’s victory in the Champions League group stage. A week later, he rehashed his feat to overthrow Getafe and placed Atletico Madrid on top of the rankings. Griezmann was also among the three players nominated as finalists for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award in 2016.

Griezmann began the 2017-18 season with the La Liga Player of the Month award for February after he scored 8 goals and two assists, including 7 in four days which consisted of a hat-trick in a match against Sevilla, and four goals against Leganes. His match-winning goal against Leganes was his 100th goal for the club, becoming the third player in the 21st century to do so after Segio Aguero and Fernando Torres.

Just recently, Antoine Griezmann steered the Spanish outfit to a dynamic victory against Club Brugge, also creating history in the Champions League when he scored the competition’s stunning 8000th goal. He is now among the renowned group of players who achieved a milestone goal since the European Cup was rebranded as the UEFA Champions League in 1992. The French striker had quite a season to remember, leading Atletico Madrid secure the second spot in the La Liga division before spearheading France’s victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  

International Career

The French forward represented his home country in the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship where he scored two goals in the team’s second group stage fixture against Austria which eventually led to the French national team’s victory. Due to France’s triumph in the Under-19 competition, the team was able to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. He was also part of the 23-man squad of the French national team to compete in the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup. With his speed, vision, dribbling skills, and an eye for goal, this French national is definitely one to watch out for. Not only has he become a vital asset for Atletico Madrid, but for the French national team as well.

By @EliaasMJ

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