Monday, July 15, 2024

Griezmann hits back at France criticism after booking quarter-final place

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jul 2024

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Antoine Griezmann hit back at media criticism after France progressed to the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 with a 1-0 victory over Belgium.

Jan Vertonghen’s 85th-minute own goal was enough to send Les Bleus into the last eight after another flat performance.

It was the second time that an own goal had given them a win at the tournament, after their opening victory over Austria.

Kylian Mbappe is the only Frenchman to score at the tournament, netting for the first time at the European Championships from the penalty spot against Poland, meaning France’s wait for an open-play goal continues.

However, Griezmann was not happy when it was suggested that the scoreline was too low, or that he had made a sacrifice by switching out to the right of the front three.

“Don’t p*** us off about a small score or something, we’re in the quarters,” Griezmann told BeIN Sports. “Big game defensively for the team. Without a great defence, you can’t go far. It was another new system for us, we have to get used to it.

“I learned [about my position on the right] this morning. I’m at the service of the coach and the team. The coach told me to play here, I play here.

“No matter where I play, I’m going to give my all. [Didier Deschamps] knows where I like to play, but I’m always going to give everything for the team. This coach has confidence in me and I try to give it back to him.”

Meanwhile, Adrien Rabiot was left to lament a first-half yellow card, his second booking of the tournament, which will see him miss the quarter-finals.

Despite his frustration, he was proud of the team for grinding out the win.

“It’s a real relief with this goal,” Rabiot told RMC. “We played a good match, we were solid.

“We have this ability to not concede a goal, to be very good at recovery. We know that it will only take one to put it in the net. It was the perfect match because with this goal at the end of the match, we broke their legs.

“I’m disgusted to have taken this yellow. I find that the refereeing at the start of the match was a little limited. But I have confidence in the guys on the bench, I will be behind them.”

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