Griezmann: I want Marseille in the Europa League final

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Richard Heathcote
Atletico's star forward would love the chance to take on his compatriots - but Simeone's men will have to get past Arsenal first

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann says that he would like to play Marseille in the Europa League final – assuming both teams can progress.

OM hold a 2-0 first-leg advantage over Red Bull Salzburg heading into Thursday’s return, while Atleti are marginal favourites after a 1-1 draw away to Arsenal.

Griezmann holds Marseille in the highest esteem and had wanted to face them before now.

“They’re a team full of confidence and I think they’ll pass the second leg and go into the final. So if we also get through, I want to play them,” he told L’Equipe.

“It’s the atmosphere, it’s a city that lives for football. I wanted to play against Marseille at the Velodrome in the last 16, the quarter-finals or the semis, but the draw meant it didn’t happen. 

“I love the stadium, I love the jersey, I find it beautiful.”

Indeed, the 27-year-old went as far to say that the club’s achievements eclipse those of Paris Saint-Germain and that for him they are still his homeland’s most notable club.

“For me, Marseille are the biggest club in France, even today, with PSG above them and Lyon and Monaco are competing alongside them,” he said of the 1992 Champions League winners.

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“For me, it’s Marseille who are historically the biggest.”

And should Atleti progress, he is well aware of the talent they have in their ranks. Asked to pick out who he appreciated in the current side, he said: “Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet have been in great form. Luiz Justavo is enormous. Kostas Mitrogolou has come and started to score goals, Lucas Ocampos is finding the net too. Bouna Sarr, when he plays, is incredible.”

Griezmann has an added incentive to progress to the Europa League final, which is in his homeland on May 16. 

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