Perhaps Antoine Griezmann is best suited to describe France’s conflicting emotions in the aftermath of its loss to Portugal in the final of the 2016 UEFA European Championship.
The France forward won Euro 2016’s two most prestigious individual awards Sunday, scooping both Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament honors. UEFA’s expert panel judged Griezmann to be Euro 2016’s brightest star.
“Antoine Griezmann was a threat in every game he played,” UEFA chief technical officer Ioan Lupescu told UEFA.com. “He works hard for his team and possesses technique, vision and quality finishing. The technical observers were in unanimous agreement that he was the tournament’s outstanding player.”
Griezmann’s tournament-high six goals netted him the Golden Boot without question.
After collecting his trophies Sunday, Griezmann embodied the joy and pain France was feeling in the aftermath of its 1-0 extra time loss in the final.
“Maybe later I can feel proud, but for now, it’s about the group,” Griezmann said in a postgame press conference, according to Sky Sports. “I’m very disappointed for my team-mates. I really wanted to offer them this trophy, but I couldn’t score and I’m disappointed.”
Griezmann understandbly was upset following the defeat — his second setback in a major final in the last six weeks.
Although Griezmann narrowly missed scoring on one of France’s most promising chances against Portugal, his goal production throughout the tournament was astounding — particularly in knockout games.
Only Michel Platini, another Frenchman, has scored more goals in a single Euro tournament (nine in 1984) than Griezmann did in 2016. Such class warrants the last word on France’s remarkable run on home soil at Euro 2016.
“It’s cruel and magnificent at the same time,” Griezmann said.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/UEFA.tv