Speaking exclusively to L’Équipe, French attacker and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann discussed the Belgian terror attacks, Diego Simeone and more.
Brussels has been hit by terrorist attacks, this Tuesday morning, which must make you think about November 13th. How did you deal with this tragedy? Does this worry you three days before your trip to face the Netherlands?
When I heard about it this morning, it forced me to think about certain things again that I tried to forget. We give all our support to the families of the victims. And for the match, we have total confidence in the security of it.
At Atletico Madrid, you are now considered as the leader in attack. Do you feel pressured by this new role?
It was difficult to adapt at the start to the style of play but around July-August the coach specifically told me what he wanted. And as soon as you start scoring goals, things become easier.
Diego Simeone says that you are as important to Atletico Madrid as the MSN is to Barcelona. Could you take on new responsibilities with the French national team?
The French national team and the club, it is different. With the club, everyday you are with guys in the dressing room, you know them very well. Here, it is different because you have only a few days to prepare for the match. I try to do my best. I have not always had “top top” matches [here]. I know that I need to work even more and I know that it will come.
Is Karim Benzema indispensable to the French national team? What will his absence change?
There will be other attackers, like Gignac, Olive [Giroud], Antho Martial too who can play up top. We will see over these two matches. Karim is an important player for us. Whatever happens to him, he will always respond on the pitch. And for me, outside of things, I get one well with him.
Could you play up top?
It is up to the coach as to where he wants to use me. Whether that is on the left, on the right or down the middle. As you have said Karim and Mathieu are not here, I hope that I will not be the third [who is not there]! We have two matches to try things out.
Listening to certain players in the French national team, we get the feeling that the absence of Benzema is more damaging that the absence of Valbuena…
No because Valbu has had some very very great matches with the French national team. It is just that the questions are about Benzema so I answer them about him.