Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann smashed home a much-needed goal while on international duty for France against Croatia in the Nations League on Wednesday.
The World Cup winner has come under scrutiny after a slow start to the season with the Catalan giants but was certainly was not lacking in sharpness when he netted the opener in Zagreb.
Griezmann’s goal means he’s now just one away from matching David Trezeguet as the fourth-highest goalscorer in French history.
The Frenchman’s strike should also provide some much-needed confidence. Griezmann is yet to open his account for Barcelona in La Liga in 2020-21 despite starting all three of the club’s opening matches.
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Griezmann ‘Not Guaranteed’ France Place
Griezmann boasts an impressive record with the national team, but manager Didier Deschamps warned the 29-year-old ahead of Wednesday’s match that it does not mean he is guaranteed a spot in his team.
“I know you’re looking at the last game, but look at his stats: 81 caps, 32 goals, 21 assists. It speaks for itself,” he said.
“It doesn’t guarantee him anything, like some other players who could have done better against Portugal. I know his talent and what he can give to the team.”
Yet Deschamps did retain faith in Griezmann, selecting him in his starting XI, and was rewarded after just 11 minutes when the Barcelona forward pounced. The match is a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final in Russia which France won 4-2. Griezmann was also on target in the final with a first-half penalty.
Griezmann Under Pressure at Barcelona?
Barcelona will be hoping Griezmann has now rediscovered his goalscoring touch and can get off the mark in La Liga. There is stiff competition for places in attack which means Griezmann is under pressure to perform.
Griezmann has been the least impressive of Barca’s attackers in their first three games. Ansu Fati has three goals already, Philippe Coutinho has two assists and a goal, while captain Lionel Messi has led by example.
Meanwhile, new signings Pedri and Francisco Trincao are pushing to make their first starts for the club after featuring as substitutes, while Ousmane Dembele is fit again and also an option out wide.
Deschamps has claimed that Griezmann is not happy at Barcelona under Koeman after being played out wide on the right rather than in a central position, and it remains to be seen if the new coach will be able to get the best out of the Frenchman this season.