Antoine Griezmann still wants to finish his career in MLS
Antoine Griezmann still wants to follow Lionel Messi and finish his soccer career in MLS… as Atletico Madrid star reveals his son has been learning baseball and basketball
- Antoine Griezmann has long been determined to play soccer in the United States
- The 32-year-old is a huge fan of American sports including the NBA and the NFL
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Antoine Griezmann insists he still wants to finish his career in the United States, with the France forward revealing he has recently introduced his young son to baseball and basketball.
Griezmann permanently rejoined Atletico Madrid from Barcelona last year and is contracted to play in the Spanish capital for another three years.
He will be 35 by the summer of 2026 but the World Cup winner has long outlined his desire to play in Major League Soccer.
Griezmann has even teased a move to play under his idol David Beckham at Inter Miami, claiming in 2018: ‘If Beckham wants me in his club, then I’ll go.’
Speaking to Mail Sport ahead of Atletico Madrid’s game at Osasuna, which kicks off at 3:30pm (ET US) Saturday and will be on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes, the 32-year-old confirmed he still wants to finish his playing days in the US.
Antoine Griezmann insists he still wants to finish his soccer career in the United States
Griezmann and his Atletico Madrid team-mate Koke on a visit to Inter Miami earlier this year
‘I’ve always said that my objective would be to end there. Because I like American sports, I’d like to play in MLS and to enjoy playing there – to be competitive, to be able to win there and to play at my top level,’ he said.
‘But first of all, I’d like to continue to make history here. To win titles here with Atletico. We’ll see obviously in the future but for me one of my objectives is to end up playing in MLS’
Griezmann’s former Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have all moved to Miami this month. He believes Messi can become ‘the image of football in the United States’.
‘He’s an incredible player and I think the best thing MLS has done is to sign up Leo – just for advertising and also for the sports quality,’ the 32-year-old said.
‘It’s my objective – to end my football career there, to be able to enjoy the league and all the other sports leagues there because I really follow them. I’m a true fan.’
Griezmann and teammate Koke were courtside for the Miami Heat’s victory over the New York Knicks in May, before being spotted at DRV PNK Stadium to watch Inter Miami. He also saw the Miami Marlins play the Atlanta Braves in MLB.
The France international has been following Lionel Messi’s incredible start to life in the US
‘I like American sports, I’d like to play in MLS and to enjoy playing there,’ Griezmann said
He then spent part of his summer in the US with Atletico Madrid ahead of the new La Liga season, when all 380 matches will be available live in English and Spanish on ESPN+. That afforded him a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities of an American sports franchise and even some sightseeing around San Francisco.
The France international was already a huge fan of the NFL and NBA. Now he is hooked on another couple of American staples: baseball and fantasy.
‘I’m doing a lot of fantasy matches. In baseball I think I’ve got one this year, in the NBA I have two. So there I am, looking at all the results and looking at the players,’ he said.
‘You watch things, all different moves. For example the quarterbacks – their vision during the match. And I’m very interested since last year in baseball.’
Griezmann follows the Kansas City Chiefs but his favorite quarterback is Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears. He collects baseball cards and is a particular fan of Mariners star Julio Rodriguez.
‘I have two rooms full of these special cards – I collect them – and one day I will make it public,’ he said.
Recently, Griezmann has passed his enthusiasm down the generations.
Griezmann (right) and Koke were courtside for the Miami Heat playoff game back in May
‘My four-year-old son, I am throwing him American balls,’ he added. ‘I bought him a baseball bat and at home we also have a net up on the wall. So let’s see how he plays basketball. He can choose to play what he likes best.’
This summer, however, Saudi Arabia has become the preferred destination for many of soccer’s biggest stars including Neymar.
Griezmann is not surprised by the influx of players to the Saudi Pro League and admitted he would consider a lucrative move to the Middle East.
‘I would have to study it with my family and my three children. But at the moment I’m here, I’m really enjoying playing here but I think it’s quite normal what is happening,’ he said.
‘We’re talking about Saudi Arabia and the contracts are for an important amount of money. So you have to look at this from your and your family’s standpoint.
‘This could be the best contract of your life because at 35 years of age, that’s when football normally ends.’
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