Club: Atletico Madrid Age: 27 Position: Attacking midfielder
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?