Griezmann reveals the secret to his success: A change of position… and Simeone!

The France international has switched to centre-forward under the Argentine and has credited the 46-year-old for his prolific form throughout the 2015-16 season

GOALEXCLUSIVE

Antoine Griezmann believes his success in 2015-16 comes from a change of position that has seen him become an out-and-out striker at Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann is currently preparing for Saturday's Champions League final against city rivals Real Madrid at San Siro having enjoyed a prolific campaign under Diego Simeone.

The France international, who will also play a key role for his country at Euro 2016, has scored 32 goals in all competitions this season, including seven in Europe's premier club competition.

And Griezmann, in an exclusive interview with Goal, hailed Simeone's decision to move him into a central role, crediting the tactical switch as a key reason for his sparkling form.

"Right now I am full of confidence," he said. "At Atletico, I've improved at the highest level and in the Champions League I've turned a corner. I have more confidence now. It's similar for France. The more matches I play, the better I feel on the pitch. I hope to have a good Euros.

"This [success] is also due to my position in the forward line, where I can do more harm to the opposition defence. And it is also down to Simeone, I'm learning a lot from him every day.


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"At the start of the season when I said I wanted to be among the best [was a defining moment]. I know that it takes hard work every day in training and then in the match. I do that and it works for me - I hope to continue like that and do not want to stop here. I want to increase the level of my game, with goals and also other stats.

"He [Simeone] taught me a lot. He gave me confidence. I know he has great confidence in me so I try to deliver for him on the pitch."

Atletico face Real in Milan in a repeat of the 2014 Champions League final and Griezmann says he and his team-mates are well aware of the importance of the clash for their supporters.

"It will be a big game, a good show for both the players and for the fans and we will try to do everything to win," he added.

"It's a big derby, let's say PSG versus Marseille [when comparing it to the French league]. There's a lot of noise around it, people are waiting for this match and the fans are fully behind us. Even before the season starts, the fans look at the dates for the Madrid derbies, they all want to be there, they're big games.

"I hope we win. If that's the case, I will ask for two days to celebrate with the team and then return to France with the desire to play and win for the team [at Euro 2016]."