Antoine Griezmann happy if France win FIFA World Cup in ugly manner

Belgium's players criticised the tactics France used in their 1-0 semi-final win as Didier Deschamps' team sat deep, but Griezmann dismissed the criticism.

Published: 14th July 2018 04:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2018 04:02 AM   |  A+A-

France's Antoine Griezmann reacts to a journalist's question during a press conference at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Istra, Russia, Friday, July 13, 2018. | AP

By AFP

ISTRA: France forward Antoine Griezmann said Friday winning the World Cup against Croatia on Sunday was more important than how his team do it.

Belgium's players criticised the tactics France used in their 1-0 semi-final win as Didier Deschamps' team sat deep and Samuel Umtiti's headed goal came from a corner, but Griezmann dismissed the criticism.

"I don't care. I want the star (on my shirt for World Cup winners). If I get that star, I don't care about how we play," the 27-year-old Atletico Madrid forward told a press conference at France's training base outside Moscow.

Griezmann said he had changed the way he plays for France in order to benefit the team.

He finished top scorer at Euro 2016 with six goals but France lost the final to Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal on home soil. 

He has just two goals in Russia and both have come from penalties, but he has contributed two assists.

"I was top scorer but we lost, so I said to myself: 'I am going to score less to see if we can win'.

"My game is changing, now I am more likely to dictate the rhythm or hold onto the ball.

"If I score, then that's great, but I am more a player who thinks of the team than of scoring."

After a slow start in Russia, France have picked up form. Their blend of experienced campaigners like Griezmann and Paul Pogba, and young stars like Kylian Mbappe and Benjamin Pavard, ensures they are the bookmakers' favourites.

Midfielder Blaise Matuidi said the defeat in the Euro 2016 final -- when France seemed to freeze in front of their own fans at the Stade de France in Paris and Portugal nicked a 1-0 win -- would be in many of the players' minds when they walk out at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

"The tears have dried from Euro 2016 but it's still there in a little corner of people's minds," Matuidi said on Friday.

"It will be useful for us on Sunday, even if I don't like to keep bringing up the past. It will serve as a lesson to us and it means we know what it is to play in a final.

"We'll approach it differently and hope that we play really well and win it. It's up to us to put everything into place to achieve our dream of lifting the World Cup."

Stay up to date on all the latest News news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp