Griezmann hits out at accusations of France playing ‘anti-football’

Date published: Friday 13th July 2018 1:13

Antoine Griezmann has hit back at criticism of France playing “anti-football” under Didier Deschamps and insists it does not matter how Les Bleus go about trying to beat Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and captain Eden Hazard both lamented the way France approached their semi-final in St Petersburg.

A second-half header from Samuel Umtiti proved enough for a 1-0 win, despite Deschamps’ side conceding large amounts of possession to their European rivals.

Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, however, maintains France will do whatever it takes to lift the World Cup for a second time in Moscow on Sunday.

“Thibaut Courtois, he played at Atletico, he was a Spanish champion. With Chelsea, does he believe he is playing the football of Barcelona?” Griezmann said at a press conference, broadcast by the France Football Federation.

“I don’t care how. I want a second star to be on this shirt, and if I have the star, I do not care about the game we have done.”

Griezmann believes France’s progress has been built on a collective team effort throughout the group.

“We thought we needed to be a solid block, hard to beat. It is improved over time,” the 27-year-old said.

“We know that we can be offensive at any moment, but the defence remains our base.”

Croatia needed extra time in each of their knockout matches, coming through 2-1 in their semi-final against England on Wednesday night.

Griezmann expects coach Deschamps, who won the World Cup as a player in 1998, to be ready for the challenge ahead at the Luzhniki Stadium.

“He knows the way. We believe in him, we trust him,” the forward said.

“He prepares the matches well and has made strong choices in this competition, especially with Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez. His choices are paying off, and I hope it will continue.”

 

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