Antonie Griezmann , having lost a Champions League Final earlier this year while playing for Atletico de Madrid, and missing a crucial penalty during that game, had a lot to prove in the Euro Cup. His start to the tournament was a rather average one, as he was unable to do anything more than a few good runs and a chance or two created, and was substituted during the 66th minute. He did not start the next match against Albania. However, he came off the bench during the 68th minute, and scored a header off Rami’s cross during the injury time to get all 3 points in the bag. France as a team failed to make a significant impact in their third group stage game against Switzerland, which ended 0-0, with an average performance from Griezmann.
France were trailing against Ireland in the Round of 16 match, when Griezmann scored 2 goals, a header off Sagna’s cross and a drilled shot, to ensure his country’s victory. He was a threat in front of goal throughout the match, and for his amazing performance, was named the Man Of The Match. France’s next challenge was Iceland, who had surprised the world by reaching the Quarter Finals. During the 20th minute, Griezmann curled in a corner delivery, which was headed home by Paul Pogba. Griezmann gave another assist during the 42nd minute, when he passed the ball to Payet just at the edge of the penalty box, which was finished beautifully by the West Ham man. During the 45th minute, Giroud making an exceptional pass to Griezmann, who made a great run and beautifully chipped the ball over Halldorsson. The game ended with a score of 5-2, with France winning comfortably.
Next, France had to face Germany, the favourites for winning the tournament. Germany was dominating the game by keeping the ball and creating opportunities in front of goal, until France got a penalty during the 45th minute due to a handball by Schweinsteiger. Griezmann was given the responsibility of taking the penalty, in which he calmly drove the ball home past Neuer, giving France the lead. The Germans started playing more attacking football trying to score the equalizer. Griezmann started being a threat with his runs towards the box and key passes. A mistake from Kimmich saw Pogba crossing the ball towards goal, which was then parried away by Neuer, only for Griezmann to head the ball into the goal and double France’s lead. the 25 year old was named the Man Of The Match for his performance.
The Final was unfortunately a game to forget for France, who were defeated by Portugal. Griezmann had a rather rare day of disappointment, as he missed a golden opportunity to give France the lead. Amidst the disappointment of losing the final, the Atletico Madrid forward ended up as the topscorer of the tournament, winning the Golden Boot, and the Player Of The Tournament award. Griezmann, who as a boy was rejected by clubs in France, came back in the country’s national colours, and showed the world he can very well perform at the top level.