Antoine Griezmann ‘one of the best in the world’ – Deschamps

Nicholas Hughes
Nicholas Hughes
  • Updated: 18 Jun 2021 14:02 BST
  • 5 min read
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Antoine Griezmann has been hailed as one of the best footballers in the world by France national team coach Didier Deschamps.

Griezmann has come under fire since leaving Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in the summer of 2019, a move that angered Atleti fans.

The Frenchman has so far underwhelmed at the Nou Camp, with 22 goals and 11 assists in 71 La Liga games across the two campaigns.

But the 30-year-old has the backing of his national team boss, who sees him as a key player as France look to back up their 2018 World Cup triumph with European glory.

"He takes care of himself. He's a great professional. Just look at his stats to see his influence with France,” Deschamps told reporters during his press conference.

“It's even greater when you see his volume of play. He's one of the best players in Europe and the world.”

Antoine Griezmann remains a key part of France's plans

Griezmann scored in both of France’s warm-up games ahead of the Euros, two 3-0 wins against Wales and Bulgaria.

The forward was largely ineffective against Germany in France’s Euros opener, though, failing to link up with Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe in the final third.

He's one of our technical leaders capable of providing something with his movement. He's offensive and creative.
- Didier Deschamps

Griezmann did receive praise for his defensive work in the match, though, and that was backed up by his coach after France surrendered 58% of possession to the Germans despite winning the game 1-0.

“He gives himself to the team in remarkable way and makes a great defensive effort - sometimes too much,” he said.

“It's natural for him and it's important to bring equilibrium to the team. And this doesn't impeach the influence and effectiveness he has offensively.

France is gearing up for a clash with Hungary, with the opportunity to take a commanding six points in the tournament’s group of death, Group F, ahead of the final game against Portugal.