Football News

Antoine Griezmann hailed for Kante-esque performance to secure France’s World Cup final berth

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:25, 15 December 2022

Antoine Griezmann has been compared to N’Golo Kante after his performance helped France beat Morocco to reach the World Cup final.

The Atletico Madrid man has been deployed in a slightly deeper role at the World Cup with Didier Deschamps having to reshuffle his team to combat several injury issues. Deschamps entered the World Cup without Kante himself and Paul Pogba, leaving them threadbare for experience in the France‘s midfield.

France World Cup news: Is Griezmann the new Kante?

While he can join in the attack when operating at a 4-2-3-1, Griezmann has been used more as a box-to-box midfielder, or a No.8 and he has certainly impressed with his all-round display.

Griezmann is unlikely to get the full recognition in the shape of the Golden Ball award, with that expected to go to either Kylian Mbappe or Lionel Messi, but he has earned some comparisons to one of the best midfielders in recent times.

“Griezmannkante,” Pogba wrote on Instagram after France’s 2-0 win over Morocco secured back-to-back World Cup final appearances.

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While on BBC’s coverage of the game, Didier Drogba added: “Antoine Griezmann has surprised me but he has the intelligence and quality to do it. He looks more like Kante than Griezmann.”

As well as creating more chances than any other player at this World Cup, and being the only man to hit 20+, Griezmann is also averaging 6.4 ball recoveries per 90 minutes. Elsewhere on the defensive side of his game, Griezmann has averaged 2.2 tackles per 90, 8.9 duels contested of which 7.6 have been ground duels.

While Kante’s performances at the 2018 World Cup are better on the defensive side of his game, with 9.3 duels contested, 2.3 tackles made and 54.7 passes attempted per 90, it’s worth remembering that this is the Chelsea midfielder’s home, while Griezmann is out of position.

Griezmann’s performances have caught a fair few people off guard, earning a lot of praise from French fans and neutrals alike. But one man who may not be surprised at how good Griezmann has been is Matteo Guendouzi. One of the actual central midfielders that Griezmann is starting over, Guendouzi remarked that the Atletico Madrid man has the quality to play a number of roles and joked that he could even play deeper.

“He’s a player who can play in several positions, thanks to his quality and his workrate,” Guendouzi said after France’s 4-1 win over Australia in their opening World Cup match.

“Antoine puts in some really nice tackles, he’ll be able to play as a No.6 later down the line!”

Griezmann will be hoping he can put in another Kante-esque performance to help France get over the line in the World Cup Final against Argentina on Sunday.