Antoine Griezmann has been tipped to emerge as the star of Euro 2016 following another excellent season with Atletico Madrid.
The 2015-16 campaign may have ended in disappointment for the French forward - he missed a penalty against Real Madrid in the Champions League final - but 32 goals in 54 appearances is a contribution he can be immensely proud of.
The 25-year-old was recently described as one of the world’s top three players by his manager, Diego Simeone, and based on his performances over the past three seasons - one with Real Sociedad and two with Atleti - that suggestion is hardly outrageous.
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In an interview with GQ Magazine in France, Griezmann has revealed David Beckham was his idol growing up.
The world-famous English superstar, who once played for Atletico’s local rivals Real Madrid and retired from football three years ago, inspired Griezmann to wear the number seven and even long sleeves on his shirt during matches.
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Griezmann: I'm a massive fan of Beckham
“I am a massive fan of his,” Griezmann revealed. “On the pitch he had class and off it he was always very clean and well dressed.
“I remember the 2012 Olympics in London when he was in the boat with the Olympic torch and his hair didn’t move!
“At first I wanted to have the same hairstyle, but then he had his hair long and for me it was too long to wait six months for mine to grow.
“I’ve calmed down a bit with the dyes and such but I like to change it regularly.”
Griezmann: Two things I've copied from Beckham
The Frenchman added: “I play with long sleeves because that’s what he did and I also wear the No 7 as that was his number.
“However, it’s also true that I’m not like him because I’m quite shy, but that’s something I’m trying to improve upon and I’m working with my sister on that.”
Griezmann wasn't at his best v Romania
On that note, Griezmann looked a little timid in France’s Euro 2016 opener against Romania last Friday night.
The versatile forward missed a couple of decent chances to score for Les Bleus - including hitting the post with a close-range header - and was surprisingly substituted by Didier Deschamps in the 66th minute.
Deschamps then proceeded to substitute Paul Pogba, the pre-tournament favourite to win the coveted best player award, but his decision-making on the night ultimately paid off.
Dimitri Payet rifled in a late screamer to secure France all three points.
Griezmann, however, is likely to be back in Deschamps’ starting line-up for Wednesday night’s match between France and Albania.
Is Antoine Griezmann currently the world’s third best player? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
Quotes translated by Football Espana.
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