Antoine Griezmann Brace Fires Atletico to Europa League Trophy

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Arise Afrika Pics of Antoine Griezmann

The prolific France striker\’s brace,  scored in each of the half as Diego Simeone\’s side beat Marseille to win the Europa League on Wednesday.

 Antoine Griezmann was unstoppable that night as his heroics was instrumental to Athletico lifting  a major trophy this season.

However, his two goals on Wednesday night according to our sources may turn out to be a parting gift at the end of his fourth season with the Rojiblancos.

Griezmann joined Atletico in the summer of 2014 and even though Diego Simeone\’s side claimed the Spanish Supercopa shortly after his arrival, the titles have dried up since then.

The French forward felt partly responsible after missing a penalty in the 2016 Champions League final against Real Madrid, which Atleti lost in a shootout. However, he has more than made up for it in this Europa League.

The 27-year-old opened the scoring in the final against Marseille on Wednesday following a dreadful error by the French defence, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa badly miscontrolling an overhit pass by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and allowing the Atleti forward a clear run at goal.

Having disappointed in the 2016 Champions League final and also in the Euro 2016 showpiece which France lost to Portugal later that summer, Griezmann delivered this time in a continental competition as he coolly slotted home.

And after Marseille\’s finest footballer Dimitri Payet had departed through injury, he produced a fine finish as he latched onto a Koke pass and chipped past Mandanda to make it 2-0 in the second half.

With that goal, he became the first French player to score a brace in a UEFA Cup/Europa League final or a European Cup/Champions League final. It also took his tally to eight in the competition this term, along with four assists, meaning he has been involved in 12 goals in total.

Atletico, despite some nervy moments at the back, went on claim their 34th clean sheet in 58 matches this season to secure a sixth piece of silverware (and second Europa League crown) in Simeone\’s time in charge, the win sealed by Gabi\’s late third goal in injury time.

Moments later, Griezmann departed to a standing ovation from Atletico\’s fans and was replaced by club legend Fernando Torres, who is definitely leaving the club in the summer and signs off with his first major trophy for his boyhood club.

As the final whistle went, Griezmann ran back on to the pitch with his arms aloft. But as the celebrations die down, talk will revert to his future – just as it had dominated the build-up to this match and the questions at last Wednesday\’s media open day at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Griezmann\’s release clause is set to drop to just €100 million in July and he is Barcelona\’s top target this summer, with Atletico already complaining about the Catalans\’ tactics in their pursuit of their prized player.

As things stand, he looks likely to depart for Camp Nou, but given how he pushed for Diego Costa to return and how this team has been transformed in the second half of the season, culminating in the achievement of winning a major trophy, Atleti will surely do their utmost to make sure he stays a little longer in Madrid.

\”Now is not the time to talk about my future,\” the Frenchman said after the match. \”It\’s time to enjoy this trophy.\” But he also added: \”I left home at 14 years old because I wanted to win titles. This is the second after the Supercopa and hopefully there can be more.\”

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PROFILE OF IKECHUKWU ANYANWU Ikechukwu Anyanwu is an Imo State born Nigerian. An Author, Public Speaker, Humanitarian, Blogger, Media Guru and Start-up Coach. He has inspired millions through Arise Africa Network Platform He Is Into Education, Media, Entertainment, Showbiz and Hospitality Industry. Having calved a nitche for himself as a leadership expert, human capital development and management consultant. He is currently the Chairman, Online Media practitioners Association of Nigeria, Imo State Chapter. Ceo Arise Africa Magazine, Founder Arise Africa Network – a non-profit organization. Face of Arise Africa, Managing Consultant GCFN Consult. Member, Imo State Bloggers Association. Ag National President, Association of Pageant CEO’s of Nigeria Human Resource Specialist and Leadership Coach with astute impact on many seeking to maximize their skills, intellectuals and innate potentials He has a track record of reproducing leaders and helping them to gain dominance within their nitch. Mr Anyanwu after a rich career that spanned for 18 years having worked as Human Resources Manger, Outlet Manager Rennys Foods Limited from 2004 – 2019, Management Consultant for various Quick Service Restaurants in Abuja, Enugu, Rivers State, Abia, Ebonyi, Kogi and Imo State is now focusing on helping young people to discover, develop their talents. He has built lots of platforms for young people of Africa to express their talents. He is passionate about writing, consulting, coaching and training. He blogs regularly via www.ariseafrika.com and has a thriving social media followership. He is a graduate of Sociology/Anthropology, Imo State University whose passion is to impart knowledge by educating, equipping and empowering young minds for the future. He is an alumni of Living Word Training Center He is also the West African Representative of All African Media Networks He is married to Mrs Carol Anyanwu and blessed with 3 sons.

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