Europa League final: Antoine Griezmann's final bling for Atletico Madrid

May 16, 2018, 08:40 IST | AFP

French striker, tipped to join Barca this summer, could give his club an apt parting gift with win over Marseille in Europa final tonight

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates a goal against Arsenal during the Europa League semi-final recently. Pic/Getty Images
Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates a goal against Arsenal during the Europa League semi-final recently. Pic/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann's first major trophy with Atletico Madrid may well prove to be his last if they can overcome Marseille in the Europa League final tonight. Griezmann's future has dominated the build-up to this week's showpiece match in Lyon, with the striker widely expected to join Barcelona in the summer.

And even if coach Diego Simeone insisted his focus was like that of a racehorse — "head forward, I don't see or hear anything but the final" — it is impossible to ignore the noise surrounding the Frenchman.

Griezmann has certainly not dampened the speculation, saying only that he wants his future resolved before the start of the World Cup, while last week even Atletico's president Enrique Cerezo was hardly reassuring when he said: "Antoine Griezmann is an Atletico Madrid player, as of today."

It all suggests the final could be amount to a Griezmann farewell, after a bumpy four years at Atletico, undoubtedly successful as a whole but not without a few stumbles along the way.

This term, he has 30 goals in 52 appearances and, since he joined, his La Liga record stands at 79 in 142. "I think Griezmann is big enough to know what he's doing," his strike partner Diego Costa said. "For a player, when Barca want you, it makes you feel important, but he knows that he is important for us and that we want him here."

No. of goals Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann has scored in 52 appearances this season

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