Antoine Griezmann France 2022 World CupGetty

Kounde explains why team-mate Griezmann has thrived as a midfielder for France

  • Atletico star used to playing up top
  • Has dropped deeper at Qatar 2022
  • Versatility being put to good use

WHAT HAPPENED? The 31-year-old has forged his reputation as a lively frontman, allowing him to grace the books of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona while claiming a global crown with his country in 2018. Les Bleus are, however, blessed with an abundance of forward-thinking options, and that has led to Didier Deschamps deploying Griezmann as a creative playmaker in Qatar.

WHAT THEY SAID: The proven performer has caught the eye in a new position, with international team-mate Jules Kounde telling RMC Sport when asked if such success has come as a surprise: “Surprised? No, because I think he is a player who has a technical quality that allows him to do well in all positions. He is not used to playing in this position but I think he did it very well. He’s a player who has the characteristics to make the effort for the team and it’s even more highlighted in that position with some of the returns from the tackles. It needs adjustments but he’s intelligent enough and the coach has discussed a lot with him.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Griezmann has helped France to back-to-back victories over Australia and Denmark in the Middle East, with the defending champions already safely through to the last16.

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Antoine Griezmann France 2022 World CupGetty

Jules Kounde France 2022 World CupGetty

WHAT NEXT? Deschamps’ side have one more Group D outing against Tunisia to come on Wednesday, with his star-studded outfit in the enviable position of being able to rest and rotate in that contest.