Antoine Griezmann has been throwing Atletico Madrid on his back relentlessly this calendar year, and he did so emphatically again on Sunday to propel his side to a vital 3-1 win over Sevilla in La Liga.
With Diego Simeone’s men holding a 1-0 lead but under pressure from the Andalusians early in the second half, Griezmann smashed a stunning free-kick in off the underside of the bar.
The devastating strike was the Frenchman’s 13th goal since the turn of the year and dealt a significant blow to one of Atletico’s top-four rivals in the Primera Division, in which Griezmann and Co. are gathering pace.
On the back of the forward’s excellence, Los Colchoneros have won three straight games in the league and six of their last eight. Griezmann’s surge in that period has taken his goal tally to 14 in La Liga and a further four in the Champions League, 14 of the 18 in total struck with his PUMA evoSPEED boots.
The evoSPEED has risen to fifth among forwards across Europe in the INTERSPORT Football Boot Ranking with a score of 8.8/10.
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On Sunday, Griezmann’s blistering free-kick seemed to mark a momentum shift between Atletico and Sevilla in the context of the season. It was also a reflection of how complete his game has become, and the combination of graceful power and precision that is now his trademark.
As ever with the former Real Sociedad man, though, there was more to his performance than just the Twitter-melting moment. Against a Sevilla side now renowned for their ability to control possession and dictate terms, Griezmann was everywhere: left, right, up front and dropping deep, his team running entirely through him.
It was another display of his innate feel for where to position himself at any given moment, for how to subtly dominate in so many ways. He also delivered the ball for Diego Godin’s opener, the ninth assist registered by his evoSPEEDs this season.
The numbers jump out but so too do the sensations. Suddenly, the complexion of Atleti’s season looks different to how it did only weeks ago, with Griezmann driving the shift in mood at the Vicente Calderon.
His late winner against Celta Vigo in February now looks like something a take-off point for Atletico. Since, ‘Griez Lightning’ has scored the important second away goal against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, a crucial equaliser against Deportivo La Coruna, twin blows against Valencia, a late winner away to Granada and now a dagger against Sevilla.
His storming personal run has propelled a turnaround on the banks of the Manzanares and has shown that Griezmann, with the evoSPEED, has found his perfect fit.
The INTERSPORT Football Boot Ranking looks at which boots the game's biggest stars are wearing and links the data to statistics from competitions across Europe, and fans can track the progression of their favourite boots throughout the season by navigating the rankings online. Discover which football boot performs the best now.