Antoine Griezmann says you can expect a new-look Atletico Madrid this season as the club looks to be more proactive on the ball.
- Griezmann talks up changes
- Mentality remains the same
- Club opens season this weekend
WHAT HAPPENED? Simeone’s Atletico have been famous for their warrior mentality, with the club routinely battling Barcelona and Real Madrid atop La Liga. While those two have succeeded with a seemingly endless string of superstar signings, Atleti have generally relied on mentality and a strong defense to frustrate La Liga’s two biggest giants.
Griezmann says, though, that the club will be showing a bit more initiative with the ball this season as the club looks to compete for titles both in Spain and in Europe.
WHAT THEY SAID: “This is what we’re trying,” Griezmann said. “We’re gonna try and to come out from the back more and have more ball possession. The profile of the players we have will help to do that. Obviously, our coach is getting used to the team we have and we’ve been changing things during our training sessions. We’ve been changing the way we play. I think the effort and the hard work for all members of the team will never change but the way we deal with the ball may change and that will be seen in the matches.”
Griezmann went on to add that he’s setting his sights on silverware with Atleti this season, with both La Liga and the Champions League eluding him so far.
“I want to make history at Atletico,” he said, “So to lift silverware would be something very important and it would be a dream come true. It would be fantastic if I could win both La Liga and the Champions League.”
AND WHAT’S MORE: The mood at Atletico is strong, as Simeone continues to maintain a strong dressing room at the club. However, last season’s World Cup did threaten to make things a bit awkward, with players on both sides of December’s final.
In the end, Griezmann’s France lost to Rodrigo De Paul, Angel Correa and Nahuel Molina’s Argentina in the final. Griezmann says that it was a sore subject for a bit but, as World Cup winner himself, the forward says he was quickly able to congratulate his team-mates and friends.
“I was upset, but, then after a week, I was happy for those three because I knew them for a long time,” he said. “Before the World Cup and during the World Cup, I used to joke with Rodrigo [De Paul] and it was fun, the fact that both of us got to the final. I used to say things like ‘Oh, good luck’ and we had a few laughs before we went to Qatar and during the World Cup and in the end they were the champions. It was painful but it was also fun. We’ve spoken about it here over the last few weeks.”
THE BIG PICTURE: Atletico Madrid head into this season looking to compete for silverware once again, after finishing third in La Liga last campaign. The club has been relatively quiet in the transfer market, but have added some veterans in Caglar Soyoncu and Cesar Azpilicueta to bolster the deense alongside ex-Celta Vigo full-back Javi Galvan.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT FOR ATLETICO MADRID? Atleti will open the season this weekend as they face Real Betis in their first match in league play.
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