ANTOINE GRIEZMANN will have a personal bid to stop Lionel Messi winning the World Cup following his reported snub at Barcelona.
The former Barcelona team-mates go up against each other when France face Argentina at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday for the biggest prize of all.
For Griezmann, he is aiming to win the tournament for the second time in a row – and a match-winning performance in the final could land him the Golden Ball.
But for Messi, Sunday could complete the astonishing career with the only – and biggest – accolade missing from his trophy cabinet.
However, Griezmann is likely to have a little extra fire in the belly to get one over Messi.
That is because, as reported by the Daily Mail, Messi did not give Griezmann the accepting welcome he had expected when he joined from Atletico Madrid.
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The Frenchman signed in 2019 but it was when the squad returned from the Covid break that the fractions became clear.
The squad was split into small groups for training – and it was Ansu Fati with Messi and Luis Suarez, not Griezmann.
With the power Messi held at the Nou Camp, he could easily have swung it to have Griezmann join the close friends – but the Argentine did not.
Griezmann was desperate to be accepted by the club legend in the way Neymar was before.
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However, it simply did not work out as planned – both on and off the field.
Griezmann struggled to hit his best form – not helped by being a different type of player to the one he was often expected to be.
Fati, however, provided the energetic running Messi and Suarez wanted from their fellow forward – while Griezmann is arguably playing in his best position as a No10 under Didier Deschamps.
His relationship with Messi was cordial but never that close – in fairness, the former captain was not very tight with many players at Barca.
Even when the Argentine great left for PSG, an unhappy Griezmann was not the player or personality to step up as the main man – and instead headed back to familiar surroundings by returning to Atleti on loan.
He made the switch back permanent this autumn and now has the chance for one final dig back at Messi to deny him the one thing he craves most: a World Cup winner's medal.
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