Antoine Griezmann worked hard to make his dreams of joining Manchester United come true

For most players, their ambition is just to play in the Premier League. But for Antoine Griezmann, one of the top ten players in the world, his entire destiny for the next ten years…

Antoine Griezmann worked hard to make his dreams of joining Manchester United come true

For most players, their ambition is just to play in the Premier League. But for Antoine Griezmann, one of the top ten players in the world, his entire destiny for the next ten years was set: He wanted to play for Manchester United.

Griezmann, who left Atletico Madrid for United in a £86 million transfer in the summer of 2017, recalled his journey in an interview with World Soccer magazine. The now 26-year-old, who has more goals in the Premier League than he has assists, told the magazine that he was excited to join United, “a club on the biggest stage in the world.”

How did the small town of Algeciras prepare him for the great challenge ahead?

“I don’t want to talk about Atlético. It doesn’t matter where you come from. At least I remember that the people knew there was a European champion in the city. I don’t remember many European champions there before. But this is what I remember: We don’t have hard training. No pressure in the minors. They just leave you. I always say to myself that if I don’t have hard training, there won’t be a hard CV. I think the relationship with the coach is a big thing, too. I have been to see Diego Simeone twice in the past six years. First to make some adjustments in my game. Then in the end it was signed.”

Griezmann was the chief player in Atletico Madrid’s stellar youth academy, where he was made the club’s youngest captain and youngest ever starter. But he was also the scruffiest kid on the block; when he joined Atletico’s senior side as a 16-year-old, he was given a one-pint beer by his players. Still, he was fast. Griezmann dropped into this year’s FIFA list of the world’s best 100 players for the first time last year, and became the first Frenchman to play for the USA in 15 years when he was called up to play for Honduras in June.

Soon enough, Griezmann will be back where he belongs — pulling the strings for Manchester United.

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