Antoine Griezmann experienced agony in the Euro 2016 final as hosts France lost to Portugal in extra time.
French superstar Antoine Griezmann finished as the top scorer in the 2016 edition of the Euros scoring six goals. However, the team suffered a defeat against Portugal in the final, with the game going down to extra time. While the Les Bleus made amends for that defeat with a triumph in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Griezmann believes that the defeat in the final of the Euro 2016 will motivate the players to go out and clinch a win in the crucial moments. A triumph in the ongoing Euro 2020 will see the current France squad match the achievement of the sides that won the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000, with the addition of a European title to their global crown.
“[EURO 2020] will be a good competition, where people will be expectant of us as we’re the World Cup holders. After what happened in 2016, we’re eager to lift the trophy. That’s our aim,” he said as quoted by UEFA’s official website.
“We have some exceptional players as well with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, who is a future superstar. The players who are still here from 2016 have gained more experience. They lost in the final and that always hurts. They know what it feels like and they don’t want to go through that again. It pushes you, in the crucial moments, to go and get the win. On the pitch, I always try to be a good example, be it through hard work or by helping my team-mates. It’s about helping the team go as far as possible. Off the pitch, I don’t speak a lot. I try and make sure there is a good atmosphere in the changing room and have a laugh with my team-mates, but I still want to get better and to work hard,” he added.
Griezmann elaborated on the pain of losing the Euro 2016 final, expressing a desire to leave his mark on the French national team.
“We were tired. We’d only had three days since the semi-final. It was very difficult to rest and get your strength back. So, we were playing fatigued – you could see that at the end of the game. That’s how it is. Portugal were fresher; they played well. Congrats to them. We now have another opportunity to win the EURO. I was happy and satisfied with my performance at the EURO. My performance levels were really good. The fact we lost in the final kind of spoiled it. I lost two consecutive finals in two months, the Champions League final and the EURO final. The holiday after all that wasn’t the best. But it helps you to come back stronger, even if it’s painful at first,” he said.
“I want to leave my mark on the French national team. It’s a source of immense pride to play for France and to wear that shirt. We all want to break records, to do your best. I’ve been in the team since 2014; I always enjoy taking the field and wearing the shirt, and why wouldn’t you try to aim as high as possible in terms of goals, assists, caps? I’m still here and I’m trying to stay here as long as possible,” added the French superstar.