Antoine Griezmann, the most famous professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the France national team, was honored with the “La Liga Fans' Five Star Player" Award in the year 2016. Here are some facts about the French footballer:
He was born on March 21, 1991, at Macon, France, to Alain, a town councilor and Isabelle, a former hospital cleaner. He is of German and Portuguese descend.
His footballing roots can traced to his maternal grandfather Amaro Lopes, who played for F.C. Pacos de Ferreira, in Portuguese. He was also inspired by Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry during 1988 World Cop.
He once travelled to Macon city, to have trials at boyhood club ‘Lyon’ as a youngster, but was considered too frail to join the academy and was rejected. Several other clubs too rejected him for his size and lightweight frame.
Griezmann resigned to his hometown and began his career playing for UF Macon. In 2005, while on trial with Montpellier, he played a friendly against youth academy of Paris Saint-Germain, in Paris, and impressed several club scouts.
The Spanish club Real Sociedad, offered him a youth contract, after atrial for a week at San Sebastian. Initially his parents were reluctant but later permitted with positive assurances. He was 13 years old.
He was with the club’s youth system for four years, before he got an opportunity to play with the senior team during 2009-10 pre-season campaign. He scored five goals in four appearances and impressed the club’s coach Martin Lasarte.
He was selected to represent Real Sociedad, main team without being in the reserve team, when its regular left-winger was injured. On September 02, 2009, he made his debut as substitute in the 77th minute against RayoVallecano in the Copa del Rey match.
On September 27, he made the starting eleven and scored his first professional goal in a 2-0 win against SD.Huesca.
Griezmann was regular in the team for rest of the season and Real Scoiedad, was crowned Segunda Division Champion. The club earned its promotion to La Liga league for the 2010-11 season.
On March 02, 2010, he made his debut with French Youth Team, in a drawn encounter in the friendly match against Ukraine. In the return leg he scored the game winning goal for a 2-1 win.
On April 08, 2010, he signed his first professional contract with his club for five years deal worth € 30 million. He had offer from several other first division clubs including Premier League clubs, Manchester United and Arsenal.
France won the ‘2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship,’ defeating Spain 2-1 in the finals, and Griezmann, was named in the Team of the Tournament. He scored two goals and provided assists.
Though he was selected to the French Under-20 team for the ‘2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup,’ he could not make it as he was suffering a thigh injury during the practice. However he recovered a month later to make his debut but for the under-21 side in the friendly game against Russia.
When he made his debut for his club in the Spanish first division on August 29, 2010, he fulfilled his childhood dream. He scored his first goal in the league in a 3-0 win over Deportivo de La Coruna.
He temporarily lost form and went without scoring any goals in nine games before returning to form when he scored the only goal in a 2-1 loss to Racing Santander and led Txuri-urdin to 2-1 win over Sporting de Gijon.
In the final game of 2012-13, season he scored the only goal of the match against Deportivo de La Coruna to finish fourth in the league and secured a qualification for the UEFA Championship League.
In November 2012, Griezmann, along with four other youth players were suspended for a period of one year as disciplinary action for late night out before training. During this time he considered switching allegiance to his ancestral Portugal.
He made his debut for the France senior team on March 05, 2014, in a friendly against Netherland. On June 01, that year he scored his first international goal in a 1-1 draw against Paraguay.
Griezmann made his world cup appearance in 2014, as a replacement for injured Franck Ribery in the game against Honduras. France was eliminated in the quarter-finals and he could not open his account.
On July 28, 2014, Griezmann was transferred to Atletico Madrid, for €30 million and signed a six year contract.
Although he made his debut for Atletico Madrid on August 19, he scored his first goal for club, in a Champions League group stage game against Olympiacos.
He dazzled in the game against Cordoba C.F, with brace of goals for a 4-2 win and followed it with his first hat-trick in a come from behind 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on December 21, 2014. He was voted ‘La Liga Player of the Month’ for January 2015.
He ended the 2014-15 season, with 22 goals, to record highest total by a French player in a Spanish top-division campaign. He was the only player from Atletico, to figure in the ‘Team of the Year’ as a forward along with Messi and Ronaldo.
Griezmann was in superb form at the beginning of 2015-16 season, to put Atletico on top of the league with goals against Las Palmas, Galatasaray and Getafe. He continued with memorable outing on October 18, against his former club Real Sociedad, with an exquisite chipover keeper for a goal in a 2-0 win. He did not celebrate the goal.
He had an active part in win over Real Madrid and Barcelona. He scored the only goal on February 27, as Atletico won away to Real Madrid and on April 13, he scored both the goals in a 2-0 quarter-final second leg win that knocked Barcelona out of Champions League.
When he scored the decisive goal against Bayern Munich in the second leg semi-finals, he took Atletico to the Champions League finals but could not help it win the cup.
He finished the season with 32 goals and Atletico finished the La Ligaleague third apart from reaching the Champions league finals. On June 23, 2016 he signed a new contract with the club which will keep him until 2021.
At the 2016 UEFA Euro, he won the ‘Golden Boot’ as the tournament top scorer with six goals and two assists in seven games. He was named the tournament’s best player and made it to the team of the tournament. France lost the final to Portugal 0-1.
Griezmann features on the cover of the French edition of FIFA 16 alongside global cover star Lionel Messi. He also has dance move named after him in the popular French novelty song ‘Logobitombo.’
He has been with his partner, Erika, for a long time and the couple welcomed a daughter in April of 2016.