Speaking in an exclusive interview with L’Équipe, Atletico Madrid’s attacker Antoine Griezmann reacted to the announcement that he had been called up to France’s EURO 2016 squad for this summer’s tournament.
Was the announcement of Didier Deschamps’s list the beginning of EURO 2016?
Yes, it starts now even if I, with the Champions League final, will join the group a little later. But I hope that there will be a good preparation, that we will all be ready to attack this competition from the 10th of June. The Euros in France, that does not happen everyday, we have to profit from that and give everything.
Do you know when you will join up with the group?
No, not yet. I need to speak with the manager. I hope that in any case, should we win, that he will leave me a little time to celebrate with my teammates.
This is a young squad that the manager has picked: are these Euros not coming two years too early?
There are a fair amount of us who played in the World Cup, experienced players. It is a squad with an enormous amount of quality, a squad that can win the Euros. We are also lucky to have a coach who has already been through all of that, who knows how to deal with the matches.
Did you know N’Golo Kanté before the last national team squad last March?
No, I didn’t know him much. I was surprised because the player runs absolutely everywhere, he plugs the holes on the pitch. He will do us a lot of good.
A recent survey suggests that you are one of the most liked players in the French national team. Does that inspire you?
I am very proud of that. I am very happy. As I often say, when people ask me for autographs or photos, I do them with a smile. I try to share my daily life on my social media as much as possible too.
Do you get the feeling that a sort of “Griezmannia” is about to be put in place?
Not really, because I live in Spain and am not really aware. But, it is true that at each French national team game, I see more and more people with my shirt and my number. That touches me.
You have already played 60 matches this season, and everyone is wondering in was condition you will arrive at EURO 2016 in.
It is true that it could surprise and worry. But I feel good, in good form. In July, August we worked very hard and for me that is not new. I will be in good physical shape and in a strong mental state to try to lift this trophy.
Is it enough to be strong mentally to forget about tiredness?
For me, it is the mind that controls the legs. Aside from that, there are always physio to massage and allow you to recuperate quicker.
Are you aware of the anticipation that the French public has for you following your season with Atletico?
I know that more will be expected from me, yes, even if I do not consider myself to be the star of the team. The star, is the team. We have some great players to win this competition. That will be the aim.