In the past, Antoine Griezmann has repeatedly stated his intention to close out his career in MLS. However, with the lavish offerings of Saudi Arabia, Griezmann’s future is somewhat less clear. French national teammates N’golo Kante and Karim Benzema are two major names to move over to Saudi Arabia. However, that is something Griezmann will have to mull over in the future.
In the immediate timeframe, the Frenchman’s focus remains with Atletico Madrid. However, he does not rule out a move down the road to Major League Soccer. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Griezmann repeated previous statements on how he sees his career eventually shifting over to the United States.
“I have always said that my objective would be to end in [MLS],” Griezmann said through a translator. “I like American sport; I’d like to play in MLS and to enjoy playing there. It is competitive to win there, and I can play at my top level.”
Griezmann would be a major signing for Major League Soccer. Of course, he would not be the driving force Lionel Messi has been for the league, but he remains a top talent in Europe with eyes on the United States. Moreover, Griezmann says that top signings such as Messi, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets or himself can continue to grow the league further.
“It is my objective to end my football career there. It can be very good for the American league. Leo is there, Jordi and the new signings like the younger players from South America will improve the level of the league. To sign top quality players will make the league bigger and stronger.”
Messi making a mark in MLS
If anything, Messi’s transfer has helped Inter Miami. The south Florida club is on its way to the Leagues Cup Final against Nashville SC. That success, combined with the Argentine’s popularity, can make Messi a focal point for MLS and American sports as a whole.
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“He is an incredible player. I think the best thing MLS has done is sign Leo for advertising and just for the sport’s quality. He can be the image of football in the United States.”
When Griezmann brings up the advertising, he also alludes to the viewership of the league. Domestically, MLS Season Pass from Apple TV has seen an uptick in subscribers. While those metrics are kept secret, reports indicate the streaming platform has surpassed 1 million subscribers. If Messi can keep up his rampant scoring form, that number may continue to grow.
If down the road Antoine Griezmann comes to MLS, that may help even more. Again, this is not a case of Griezmann finishing his time in Atletico this season. The 32-year-old World Cup winner is on the verge of history with Atletico Madrid. The Frenchman is hunting records in terms of goals with Atletico Madrid. Those may require a few seasons, putting MLS and the United States down in the pecking order of importance.
Antoine Griezmann may come to MLS because of other American sports
Regardless, the United States is particularly enticing to Griezmann due to his passion for American sports. During the LaLiga Summer Tour, Griezmann featured for Atletico at Oracle Park, home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants. During his press conference, Griezmann mentioned that he is a fan of the NFL, NBA and MLB. For reference, he mentioned Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears and Julio Rodriguez from the Seattle Mariners as two players he is a fan of.
In that LaLiga series, Griezmann also noted the fans in attendance. He admitted the game in San Francisco, a 1-1 draw against Sevilla, was not the best product Atletico could have put out. However, the fans were still in strong attendance at a traditional baseball stadium.
PHOTO: IMAGO & ZUMA Wire
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