AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Griezmann after World Cup win: “I do not know where I am!”

1 Comment

There’s an incredible commercial for the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs which shows champion players stumbling for the words to describe their emotions immediately following a title.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]  

Through translation, French attacker Antoine Griezmann delivered a quote nearly as memorable. From the BBC:

“I do not know where I am,” said Griezmann, who finished third in Golden Ball voting.

“I am really happy. It was a very difficult match, Croatia had a great game. We came back and we managed to make the difference.”

Ain’t that the truth? Though, ‘Toine, you’re in Russia.

Yes, Griezmann dove to win the free kick that led to the opening goal, but he’s been mostly fantastic for the better part of a half-decade in the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (amongst others) in league play.

Video: France back ahead through VAR decision, Griezmann PK

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The World Cup final is off to an absolutely flying start… and it’s not even halfway over yet.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

France has retaken the lead against Croatia, 2-1, through an Antoine Griezmann penalty kick.

The decision came minutes after Ivan Perisic was charged with a handball inside his own area following a Blaise Matuidi header, which was only given by the referee after a video replay review.

The goal for Griezmann is his fourth of the World Cup, putting him two behind England’s Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race.

Why they’ll win the World Cup: France

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Image
1 Comment

First of all, relax — This is part of a four-post series making the case for each of four World Cup semifinalists in their respective bids to win the 2018 edition of the tournament.

That said, let’s talk about why France will be lifting the World Cup trophy on July 15 in Moscow.

[ RECAP: Belgium ousts Brazil ]

Why France will win the tournament: Following a 2-0 defeat of Uruguay in Friday’s quarterfinal, manager Didier Deschamps noted that Les Bleus relative inexperience peeks out at times.

That might be helping France, who has built its tournament acumen back up following the embarrassment of 2010 in South Africa. France lost to eventual champions Spain at EURO 2012, then again fell to a champion when Germany knocked the French out at the quarterfinal stage of the 2014 World Cup.

The French then (mostly) bossed the home EURO 2016 and the final despite losing to Eder‘s extra time tally in setting the stage for this summer in Russia.

France has survived legacy-desperate Lionel Messi and Argentina (just, really) and a feisty Uruguay despite still waiting to get consistent star turns from Samuel Umtiti and Hugo Lloris (though the backstop made a magnificent save late in the first half Friday versus the South American side.

Olivier Giroud, a man known for big goals, also is still waiting to break onto the score sheet. France has thrived through a kid (Kylian Mbappe), a dominating should-be Ballon d’Or candidate (N'Golo Kante), and two stars attackers doing it loudly (Antoine Griezmann) and quietly (Paul Pogba).

Throw in Raphael Varane, and France has been steady up the middle. If they can get past Belgium, which this post assumes they do thanks to the title, find us a team on the other side of the bracket equipped to punish the French. England? Sweden? Russia?

No, it would come down to Croatia. And right now we’d sign up for that feast of football… and expect Les Bleus to emerge victorious.

Suarez rejects Griezmann’s love of Uruguay

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
3 Comments

Luis Suarez wasn’t in the mood to celebrate Antoine Griezmann’s self-control following France’s defeat of Suarez’s Uruguay in Friday’s World Cup quarterfinal.

France held a 1-0 lead, with Griezmann assisting on the opener, when his knuckling shot was fumbled into the Uruguay goal by keeper Fernando Muslera.

[ MORE: Ream signs new Fulham deal ]

The nature of the goal, plus a healthy love for Uruguay, played a role on Griezmann’s muted celebration. For a player known for celebrating his opponents’ “taking an L,” it was notable.

“When I started, someone from Uruguay taught me the good and bad of football,” he said. “I love Uruguayan culture and Uruguayans. I have respect for Uruguay and it was normal not to celebrate my goals.”

But Suarez didn’t have it in his mind to give Griezmann much credit, even though the French attacker’s close relationship with club teammates Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez is well documented (Godin is the Godfather of Griezmann’s child).

And Griezmann also credits former Real Sociedad teammate Carlos Bueno, a Uruguayan, with helping his career in a big way.

Suarez doesn’t really care about all that.

“He’s not Uruguayan, he’s French and he scored a goal. He doesn’t know what we have to do to succeed in football. He will have his customs and his Uruguayan way of speaking, but we feel differently.”

Easy, Luis. We realize you just lost to the man and have a healthy club rivalry between you club Barcelona and Griezmann’s Atletico Madrid, but people live unique lives.

Video: Mbappe burst, Griezmann PK gives France early lead

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Argentina’s hopes of reaching the quarterfinals took a hit early on against France, after Antoine Griezmann converted from the penalty spot on Saturday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

The Atletico Madrid man scored his second goal of the 2018 World Cup in the 13th minute, following a tremendous individual run from Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe.

The 19-year-old picked up the ball in his own half of the pitch, before carrying it all the way through the Argentine penalty area and being taken down by Marcos Rojo.