Griezmann channels Messi and LeBron in Barcelona win

Antoine Griezmann Barcelona 2019-20
The French striker took inspiration from two sporting legends in a pivotal performance for the Catalans

In his first competitive match at Camp Nou as a Barcelona player, Antoine Griezmann stole the show as he scored twice in a 5-2 win over Real Betis. 

After Nabil Fekir had given the visitors a shock lead, Barca's new French recruit stepped up, bagging goals either side of half-time to set the Catalans up for a routine victory. 

Having struck his first goal from close range, Griezmann's second was a curling effort from the top of the box. 

The 28-year-old revealing both the goal and his subsequent celebration took inspiration from two sporting icons in the form of new teammate Lionel Messi and basketball great LeBron James. 

"I see Leo doing it in training and try to copy him. I like the ritual Lebron does and I tried to copy him," Griezmann told Movistar+

"They woke us up with their goal and we played a great game with many chances. 

"We really wanted to improve after Bilbao. There is still margin to improve but it is the line to follow. When important people are missing, the team takes a step forward and it has been like that.

"If I make goals and give assists it is thanks to the team, I can't do it alone."

In the absense of both Messi and Luis Suarez, Griezmann managed to inspire Barcelona to a crucial win after they lost their La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao.

The French striker also claimed an assist to go with his two goals as he showed how big of an impact he can have this season. 

With Messi again forced to watch the match from the sidelines, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said his star player was never going to be risked. 

"He didn't have a good sensation, we don't think it was a relapse," he said. 

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"He had some slight discomfort and we already said that we're not going to force him." 

Barcelona's next match will see them take on Osasuna away on Saturday before the international break. 

The Catalans currently sit ninth in La Liga, behind both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, with Sevilla surprise frontrunners.