Club: Atletico Madrid Age: 27 Po­si­tion: At­tack­ing mid­fielder

Australian Four Four Two - - RIVALS -

Atletico Madrid at­tack­ing mid­fielder An­toine Griez­mann has been one of La Liga’s top play­ers for sev­eral sea­sons and will have the hopes of France rest­ing on his shoul­ders in Rus­sia. The 27-year-old’s per­for­mances saw him come third in the Bal­lon d’Or in 2016 and he was also voted the best player in Spain’s La Liga for his blis­ter­ing 2015/2016 cam­paign. What makes Griez­mann world class is that his shoot­ing abil­ity is sim­ply breath­tak­ing. From out­ra­geous bi­cy­cle kicks, to per­fectly pre­cise scream­ers out­side the box, chips over the top, to round­ing the keeper, his feet are like a doc­tor’s hands, steady and ac­cu­rate. His tech­ni­cal abil­ity and touch on the ball make him a rare type of player who is both el­e­gant and ex­plo­sive. Griez­mann’s ac­cel­er­a­tion off the mark com­bined with his drib­bling abil­ity, in­clud­ing step overs and shim­mies can turn de­fend­ers in­side and out – at times he is sim­ply un­mark­able. He also has that un­canny abil­ity to read the game, per­son­i­fied by his vi­sion on the ball which is why he is third in La Liga for as­sists. He is a su­perb cre­ator who can put through balls in the air and on the ground and even though he’s not re­ally known as a crosser, he can whip in rapier like crosses. Let’s not for­get his abil­ity at free kicks; he can be deadly with his left foot. But the ques­tion is: will he wear his Euro 2016 lucky charm Spongebob Squarepants un­der­wear at Rus­sia 2018?

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