Griezmann has freed his mind with Atletico decision – Deschamps

By Ryan Benson at the Kazan Arena 15 June 2018 285
Griezmann has freed his mind with Atletico decision – Deschamps

Didier Deschamps is pleased Antoine Griezmann has "freed his mind" by deciding on his Atletico Madrid future ahead of France's World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday.

Griezmann had been linked with a €100million move to Barcelona for several months and some reports even claimed he had an agreement with the Catalan giants.

Atletico fans did not take too kindly to such rumours and jeered him towards the end of the campaign, in which he helped the Rojiblancos finish second behind Barca.

Griezmann had regularly teased a decision before eventually announcing his intention to remain at the Wanda Metropolitano in a video which was released on Thursday.

And Deschamps saluted his "loyalty" to Atletico, relieved Griezmann will be able to fully focus on the World Cup.

 

Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Kazan on Friday, Deschamps said: "Two things that come to mind are his loyalty and commitment to Atletico, and most importantly he has freed his mind for the World Cup, and it's certainly a very good thing for us."

The video in which Griezmann made his big reveal was stylised as a documentary which focused on numerous events and situations in both the forward's professional and personal life towards the end of the season.

He received some criticism for the video and for creating a potential distraction for France so close to the tournament, but Deschamps insists he and the national team had nothing to do it. Though the coach did joke it was him behind the camera.

"I've already spoken on the matter," he added. "Some people think it's more important how he announced it rather than what the content was. I just think it's important he showed his loyalty and free himself.

"It was nothing to do with me. I have enough to look after… I was the one filming."

France captain Hugo Lloris echoed the thoughts of his coach, highlighting the importance of Griezmann feeling "free".

"When it comes to Antoine, as you [the media] felt it, it was the same for us," Lloris said. 

"You have to take it in the second degree. We laugh but it's most important for him to feel free from this choice and what he's had the last few weeks."

 

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