The saga of Antoine Griezmann’s lack of productivity at F.C. Barcelona has been a constant topic of conversation since his transfer from Atletico Madrid in 2019. Despite the promise he showed at Atletico Madrid with a ratio of between .47 and .60 goals per game while at F.C. Barcelona the highest ratio he has achieved has been .37. From the moment Antoine Greizmann arrived at F.C. Barcelona there was one reason or another as to why he hadn’t fully settled in. The first reason had to do with not playing in his normal position because of Lionel Messi and the second was about not being fully welcomed. Even though Lionel Messi transfered to PSG meaning this would supposedly be Antoine Griezmann’s season to shine at F.C. Barcelona, he recently went on loan back to Atletico Madrid for the rest of the 21/22 season.
While Antoine Griezmann has been struggling at the club level, he is well valued on the French national team. France played a World Cup Qualifing match against Finland on September 7th. Antoine Griezmann scored two goals to lead France to a win. Those two goals added to his total international goal tally for 41 goals and also tied him as the joint-third top all time scorer for France. So what is the reason that Antoine Griezmann shining for France and not for F.C. Barcelona?
Antoine Greizmsnn’s fellow French national teammate and Manchester United player Paul Pogba was going through a similar situation in the 20/21 season. For both players I believe it comes down to feeling comfortable, feeling at home and feeling valued. Within their individual clubs they are cogs a part of a bigger picture. Which neither seem, at least outwardly, to have an issue with.
They might perform to the level that is less than expected but within the grand scheme of things their numbers are better the average player. Within the French national team the perception is that the team needs these players to perform to their best in order to succeed. France has a number of the best players in the world but they don’t always play like a team. They’re world champions because one good players understands how to link up with the other.
Although it might not be what they want to do, club coaches need to find a way to make their star players feel like stars. Even adults enjoy to be needed and depended on. If it’ll help the likes of Antoine Griezmann perform better game in and game out, no harm no foul.