“I would like your son to spend a trial week with Real Sociedad.” That text written on a card was the one that changed Griezmann’s story (31 years). May 2004. Eric Olhats, txuri-urdin scout. A little blond boy in a Jamaica shirt. He tries at Montpellier after receiving so many no’s. Lyon, Sochaux, Saint-Étienne, Metz. Petit écolier cookies and a bottle of Sprite. The blond boy who scores with a long shot. The scout who asks you for a drink, who puts that note in your pocket: “Don’t read it until you get to Mâcon”. She ignored him, of course. “During the way back” he opened it, he read it himself. Ten years later, that boy was already a proper name of LaLiga.
Griezmann had already scored that goal against Lyon in the 2013-14 Champions League preview, which was not only a great goal, but also his particular zasca at both slams in the French league quarries, because he was short. Griezmann had already grown in Zubieta since the test in that distant 2004 against Athletic in which he scored and shone. Griezmann had already experienced a rise (to Primera, 2010), he had become fond of mate and Uruguay for Bueno, to the NBA with Vela and rehearsed direct free kicks that never went to the net with Bravo. He had also experienced his worst scoring streak. The six from 2009-10 in the Second Division (40 games, 0.15 average), the seven from 2010-11 (39 games, already in the First Division, 0.18), the eight from 2011-12 (38, 0.21). It was the summer of 2014 and Griezmann had scored 21 in 50 games. Atlético knocked on his door. He made the leap to go from proper name to star.
And that was not easy. “In the preseason with the Profe in Segovia there were days when I was short of breath,” he confessed that summer of 2014 in an interview in The country. The first time he returned to Anoeta was November and he was not a starter with Cholo (“I don’t understand, he’s not happy with me when I try to do well,” he told his wife, Erika, then a girlfriend, when he arrived at House). That first time in San Sebastián he played six minutes, at the end of a return home being a stranger. Or more. An enemy: he was received between whistles. It would not be until a month later, December 21, 2014, that he would not gain his status. Against Athletic, of course, a hat-trick. The rest, also history. A layer, 25 goals in 53 games that year, 32 in 54 in 15-16, 26 in 53 in 16-17, 29 in 49 in 17-18. That summer of 2018 he was proclaimed world champion with France and recorded La Decision, a documentary to announce that he was staying at Atleti, after months of plucking daisies. He started earning 23 million. He would leave a year later chasing that train. The cule. Without listening to Erika (“Here (Atleti) you will be history, there (Barça)…”). Not one more.
Six goals against Real Sociedad
Two years later, Griezmann returned to Atleti and Cholo, after the grayness at Barça. A Barça with whom he played the first three days of this 21-22 without weight or goals. Matchday 1 against Real, his rival also in matchday 38, with his worst numbers in the First Division since 2012, when he was still a txuri-urdin, only three goals in the League, eight in total. And with the memory of an injury, the first long of his career, which stranded him when he was Griezmann again. The one with the cape. The one with the goals. The other never ceased to be. The partner. The one of the work above the tailcoat. Loaned by Barça (compulsory purchase in 2023), there is no doubt about his continuity with Cholo. He already scored six goals for Real, his starting point. He did not celebrate any. She never will.