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France team – Antoine Griezmann: “Maybe a click”

The French striker presented himself to a press conference the day after the qualification of the Blues, appeared determined to beat Spain in the final.

A 100th selection with the Blues in a final against Spain, the perfect scenario?
This is ideal. I am very proud and very happy. I hope it will end well with a Cup and a party after the game.

France-Belgium (3-2), a founding match one year from the 2022 World Cup?
Yes, I think it’s a match that will do us good and can be a click, especially after the failure of the Euro. We had a big second half, after falling too far after the 25th minute. It did us good, we saw it after the match. In the locker room, it screamed all over the place. Technically, tactically, we were on top.

What happened in the locker room during the break?
We settled two or three things tactically, after “Piochy” (Pogba) raised the tone, but it’s more the fact of having pressed high enough, of staying one against one behind and having been strong in the duels that made the difference. With the ball we were technically fairer, we managed to find Karim and Kylian, and they made the difference.

What remains of Griezmann who celebrated his first selection, in 2014?
Always the same thing, a guy who loves to be in the France team, who is proud to wear these colors, who is always kiffer football, to be with this locker room, my teammates, the staff. A guy who has a little more experience, and who is a world champion, but still the same, trying to give the best of himself, defensively or offensively, depending on what the team needs.

The victory against the Belgians, similar to that against Argentina in 2018?
Yes, it was a bit the same emotions, a game a bit crazy, we saw it with the goal celebrations, as against Argentina (4-3, in the round of 16). It made a little click for us and after we had raised our levels of play, I hope it will be the same on Sunday. But yes, of course, it did us good to show that at 0-2, we could win against any team.

Several French people evolve in Spain with their club, what does that change?
We know them a little more, but there is also this aspect of not coming back to Spain having lost. You have to go home having won! (Smiles.) We’re going to run more, we’re going to do double! At first, it’s going to be weird, with Koke we’re together all the time (at Atlético), in the locker room or at home, but after five minutes, we forget everything and the match begins. But you have to win, otherwise, I’ll have Koke who will room me every day. I would like to stay in the bedroom on Monday.

What does it take to further improve the attacking line?
No more matches. It’s up to me, too, to find them more, but yesterday (Thursday) we managed to play well together, to find each other. It’s up to us to put them in the best conditions, and whether it’s Kylian or Karim, because they were extraordinary, they did us a lot of good. Let them do the same thing on Sunday!

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Is Mbappé’s interview in L’Équipe a surprise?
I kinda understand that feeling. We are lucky to have him, we know that it is a top player who will win everything. He is expected to score four or five goals in every game. What he does at his age (22) is extraordinary, but we fell on him at the Euro and it was a bit unfair for this penalty. It wasn’t his fault we got knocked out. You have to know that we have a huge chance to have him with us, and take advantage of him. I’m sure if we give him confidence and joy there will be more matches like yesterday.

Thierry Henry’s record and his 51 goals are approaching …
It is not very far, but it is also necessary to put them, the ten goals which remain! It’s close, but it’s not a goal that obsesses me either. Besides, there are matches that I pass without shooting. I first look for what the team needs. But ten goals is both a lot and not a lot (smiles). We’re going to take it easy.

Should we win on Sunday to erase the Euro?
No, I do not think so. We won the 2018 World Cup, and we’re still thinking about Euro 2016 … But we want to win this final, and I think we have the weapons to hurt them.

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