Simeone hails 'extraordinary' Atletico & France star Griezmann for silencing critics at 2022 World Cup
- Griezmann registered three assists in World Cup
- Looked at his best for Les Bleus
- Simeone hailed his rich vein of form
WHAT HAPPENED? The France international played a starring role as a playmaker in Qatar to propel Didier Deschamp's men to successive World Cup finals. He provided service for Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud in attack throughout the tournament, recording three assists, including a stunning cross for the latter's eventual winner against England in the quarter-finals. Griezmann was criticised for his performances for Atletico in the first half of the season as it was suggested he wasn't putting in maximum effort, but Simeone has never questioned his contribution and feels he silenced his doubters with his displays in Qatar.
WHAT THEY SAID: "You have to go back and remember seven days before the World Cup, how he played in the first game [in the Copa del Rey] we had. He did it with the same dedication, the same commitment," The Atletico boss has told reporters.
"Antoine always wanted to be here. He regained the affection of the fans; [on] the field [he] speaks, and it is a good image for his teammates, wanting them to reach an important level. He is an extraordinary player despite the fact that many, many, thought otherwise."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Griezmann has recorded six goals and eight assists in 23 appearances for Atletico this season despite being forced to accept a bench role before sealing a permanent return to the club from Barcelona in October. Three of those assists have come in Atletico's last two matches, including their 2-0 win over Oviedo in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
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WHAT NEXT FOR GRIEZMANN? The French forward will be hoping to bring out his best once again when he faces his former employers Barcelona in a crucial La Liga encounter on Sunday at the Wanda Metropolitano.