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Atletico's Griezmann breaks silence before Europa League final

Antoine Griezmann spoke about the importance of Diego Simeone

El crack francés quiere dejar de ser el eterno subcampeón. Acumula muchos goles, pero pocos trofeos. | Perform

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has given an interview to UEFA ahead of this week's Europa League final against Marseille in Lyon. 

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Griezmann has been quiet in recent days amid speculation of a move to Barcelona, but has broken his silence to praise Atletico coach Diego Simeone. 

"What 'Cholo' is doing for the club is historic," he said. "It's like what [Sir Alex] Ferguson did with Manchester United and hopefully he will win trophies and take the team to the top level because he deserves it. I hope he will make history with the club because, thanks to him, we are here."

The France star added: "You learn a lot under [Simeone]. I think he's the best tactical and defensive coach in the world and he shows that year in, year out. It's a joy to work with him. He identifies every player's weaknesses and tries to improve them, making you a more complete player.

"He has helped me grow both on a personal and professional level. He will always ask for the best of me and make me do my best, and I'll always be there to help him and help win the games."

Despite being considered one of the world's best players -- he was on the Ballon d'Or podium in 2016 -- Griezmann's honours are lacking. He hopes to put that right in Lyon. 

"This could be my first important title after winning the Spanish Super Cup," he added. "I have the opportunity to win the Europa League now and I really want that. I'll do everything I can to help my team-mates. For the club, it's just another title. It's important and it shows that we always compete with the best teams.

"I simply can't wait for the match to come around and it'll be fantastic to play in Lyon, which is just 45 minutes from my hometown [Macon]. A lot of my family members will be at the game. I have fond memories of the stadium [he scored twice in win against the Republic of Ireland at UEFA EURO 2016]. I also scored a bicycle kick in Lyon in the Champions League [for Real Sociedad in August 2013], so it's a city I've done well in previously and here's hoping I can keep that up."

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