Antoine Griezmann said he cannot wait to bring the World Cup home after helping France win the competition for a second time by beating Croatia 4-2 on Sunday. “I don’t know where I am... I’m very happy, it was a very difficult match, Croatia played a great game,” he told French TV channel TF1 just ahead of the trophy presentation. “We can’t wait to lift the cup and bring it back to France.”
The Atletico Madrid forward gave France a crucial 2-1 lead before half-time, netting a controversial penalty that was awarded for an Ivan Perisic handball after a video assistant review, the first-ever in a World Cup final.
“I thought about doing a ‘Panenka’ like (Zinedine) Zidane (in the 2006 final), but in the end I opened up my foot,” Griezmann said, before adding he would “sleep” with the World Cup tonight.
The 27-year-old ended the tournament with four goals as France won the title for the first time on foreign soil after their victory as hosts in 1998. However, Griezmann played down the suggestion this French generation will be remembered as his in the same way Zidane spearheaded the 1998 triumph and Michel Platini was associated with winning the European Championship in 1984.
“I always put the collective first,” added Griezmann. “This team will go down in the history of French football even if we don’t realise it yet.”
Griezmann also led Atletico to the Europa League title in the season just ended but played down talk he could become the first player in a decade to depose Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or. “The Ballon d’Or is up to the people who vote, we’ll see what happens. I still have a European Super Cup to play in and hopefully win with my club. For now it’s more about enjoying ourselves, having a good time with our families and going on holiday.”