‘He looked like the player we all want to see’: Ronald Koeman heaps praise on Antoine Griezmann after Frenchman starred in Barcelona’s rout of Osasuna
- Antoine Griezmann had only scored twice in the league before Sunday’s match
- But the Frenchman, 29, was instrumental in his side’s 4-0 thrashing of Osasuna
- Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman backed Griezmann to continue playing well
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has piled praise on under-pressure striker Antoine Griezmann after his superb performance in a 4-0 victory over Osasuna.
The Frenchman was influential throughout, recording a goal and an assist, with Martin Braithwaite, Philippe Coutinho and Lionel Messi also on the scoresheet.
It was only the 29-year-old’s third league goal of the season which came after former Holland icon Marco van Basten has blasted Griezmann and Messi for not contributing enough, while others have questioned the pair’s relationship.
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann recorded a goal and assist in a 4-0 win over Osasuna
But Koeman stated his belief that Griezmann’s excellent performance would give him confidence to keep on playing as he did against Osasuna.
He said after the match: ‘Today he looked like the player we all want to see, someone who fights, who works hard and is effective in front of goal.
‘He played with a lot of freedom, he provided an assist and scored a great goal. He has not changed, he has always worked as hard as he could, but today he created a lot more space with his movement. And his goal is sure to give him confidence.’
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman waxed lyrical about the 29-year-old Frenchman’s performance
Atletico icon Paulo Futre had questioned the relationship between Griezmann and Lionel Messi
‘(Martin) Braithwaite is working very hard to get opportunities and matches, he proved his quality against Dynamo and today we needed a player like him to move into the small spaces, we needed a classic striker with his characteristics.’
The game was also notable for Messi’s heartfelt tribute to Diego Maradona.
After scoring his side’s fourth goal, Messi took off his Barcelona shirt to reveal the shirt of Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys.
The Argentine revealed a Newell’s Old Boy shirt after scoring his side’s fourth goal of the game
On the gesture, Koeman added: ‘I didn’t know he had prepared a tribute like that but he clearly had been thinking a lot about it. It was a lovely gesture and a great moment.’
The result means Barcelona move to eighth in LaLiga, nine points off leaders Real Sociedad and three off Real Madrid, although they have a game in hand on both.
They face Hungarian side Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Wednesday, having already qualified from Group G after four wins from four in Europe.
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