Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has revealed his initial struggles with adapting to life under Diego Simeone in the Spanish capital.
The French forward joined Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 for €30m, and has scored 123 goals in 233 games, picking up 27 assists. The World Cup winner has been characteristically impressive for the Spanish side this season, with 11 goals and seven assists so far.
However, speaking to Cadena Ser, the 27-year-old has admitted he struggled at first with Simeone’s philosophies, and required extra help from teammates such as Diego Godin. He proclaimed: “At first it was difficult for me to adapt to Simeone’s philosophy.
“It involved a lot of defending, a lot of running and in the end I had to work a lot to adapt, others helped me of course.
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“Godin helped me a lot along with many of my other teammates, now it has allowed to be a player who can aspire to many things.”
Griezmann has been particulary impressive in Los Rojiblancos’ Champions League campaign this term, with four goals and two assists in six appearances. They will face Italian giants Juventus in the last 16 in a crunch clash.
Domestically, Atletico are second in La Liga, three points behind leaders Barcelona, and represent their biggest challengers to the title as it stands. And it was Griezmann they had to thank for this fact in their last encounter, with his 58th minute penalty conversion the difference against Espanyol on December 22nd.
The club will return to action in the New Year following their Christmas break, with a massive clash with second placed Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on January 6th.