Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann wrote his name into the history books for all the wrong reasons with his penalty miss for France against Sweden on Saturday in the Nations League.
The 29-year-old fired a stoppage-time spot-kick over the bar in France’s 1-0 win at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, meaning he is the first player in history to miss three consecutive penalties for Les Bleus.
Antoine Griezmann has now missed all of his last three penalties for France.
Off target again with the last kick of the match. pic.twitter.com/9fewDhdHc9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 5, 2020
Fortunately for Griezmann the miss did not prove too costly for France. They ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s first-half goal. Didier Deschamps’ side will play again on Tuesday at the Stade de France against Croatia.
The match is a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final between the two sides which France won 4-2. Griezmann was on target in the match, scoring a penalty in the win at Russia’s Luzhniki Stadium.
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France Boss Backs Griezmann
France manager Didier Deschamps backed Griezmann despite his latest failure from the spot for the national team. The 51-year-old told TFI that he would be happy for the Barcelona star to continue taking penalties for the team.
“So long as he feels it and wants to take them, he will continue to take them. It is not because he has missed three… It would be another taker, but I am not going to say to you today that because he has missed three that he will no longer take them.
“The problem, is that he does not take them with his club so he does not train on this particular thing. We spoke about it at the beginning of this international break…
“Thankfully for France, when he has had to take them, important penalties, notably at the World Cup, his little foot did not tremble and he did what was needed.”
Griezmann is certainly not a regular penalty taker for club side Barcelona, as that duty usually falls to captain Lionel Messi. France’s match against Sweden was also Griezmann’s first match since Barcelona’s 8-2 hammering by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals in August.
Speculation Still Over Griezmann’s Future
Meanwhile, speculation still continues to swirl about Griezmann’s future at Barcelona after an underwhelming first season at the club. His former agent has claimed Griezmann was “seriously looking” at leaving until Ronald Koeman took charge.
The new Barcelona boss has said he plans to use Griezmann in his preferred position next season, rather than out wide, which should be good news for the Frenchman. The expected departure of Luis Suarez may also work in his favor.
However, Premier League sides Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal have since been linked with his signature. According to Joe Bernstein for MailOnline, the striker’s future at the Camp Nou is uncertain once again now Messi has confirmed he’s staying.
Certainly, Koeman will not be lacking for options for his attack next season. The presence of Griezman, Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, and Francisco Trincao means competition for places will be fierce.