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Dortmund-Atlético: two months before the Euro, Griezmann warms up the engine

The Château de Clairefontaine seemed very dull, without his blond mop of hair in the corridors, and the French team's matches very bland, without his slender figure to dictate the rhythm, both that of the opponent and his team.

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Dortmund-Atlético: two months before the Euro, Griezmann warms up the engine

The Château de Clairefontaine seemed very dull, without his blond mop of hair in the corridors, and the French team's matches very bland, without his slender figure to dictate the rhythm, both that of the opponent and his team. Antoine Griezmann withdrew from the Blues rally in March, suffering a sprained right ankle. A month later, he is not only recovered: he shines as was already the case before, and masterfully leads Atlético de Madrid towards a thrilling end to the season.

His coach, Diego Simeone, warned before the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund: “We need the best Griezmann.” He wanted it, he got it. At the Wanda Metropolitano, “Grizou” held his position, that of a conductor (6 passes before a shot, one assist). In its style, without having the ball, Atlético dominated and won (2-1), forgetting for a moment its struggles in the championship.

The Colchoneros are only 4th in La Liga, four points behind Girona, 3rd, and four ahead of Athletic Club, 5th, which threatens to take them out of the qualifying zone for the C1. A competition where they foresee the semi-finals, in the role of eternal outsider. Atléti can still win the jackpot this season. He can also lose everything. “These are very beautiful weeks, tense, with dreams and you have to give your all,” said Simeone on Saturday, a few minutes after a new demonstration from Griezmann, the man who keeps dreams alive.

The No.7 scored a double against Girona (3-1) before leaving shortly after the hour mark. “It’s the Atlético player, it’s Atlético with Griezmann,” he said. Simeone. Everything he did made me happy after the effort he made in the Champions League. I saw him more relaxed, more himself, we need him like that, he’s the most important player we have.” Didier Deschamps can say the same.

With Griezmann, “a replacement position for position is very, very, very difficult to find. We will develop in a different way,” the Blues coach had promised. The two mediocre performances against Germany (0-2 defeat) and Chile (3-2 victory) give food for thought to those who consider Griezmann irreplaceable, at least in the very short term. The native of Mâcon had already been decisive in the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League to eliminate Inter Milan, vice-European champion.

A little less than two months before Euro 2024, a month after celebrating his 33rd birthday, the world champion is approaching his zenith. Tuesday (9 p.m.), facing the yellow wall of Dortmund, in an atmosphere of the big evenings that he loves so much, Griezmann can still offer joy to the Madrilenians, to a club of which he is the top scorer in history (178 goals ) since last January. In the event of qualification, it is either PSG or a long-time rival, FC Barcelona, ​​that Atlético would face in the semi-finals. The hope of finally lifting the big-eared cup, after three lost finals (1974, 2014, 2016), would emerge a little more. With the artist Griezmann pencil in hand, easier to trace the outline.

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