Antoine Griezmann is hoping to get his hands on a first major trophy with Atletico Madrid as the Spanish club prepare to take on Marseille in Wednesday’s Europa League final.
Griezmann has only won the Spanish Super Cup since joining Diego Simeone’s side four years ago, featuring in the team that lost on penalties to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in 2016.
Atletico’s build-up to this match has been overshadowed to some extent by constant speculation about his future, with the France striker being tipped to join Barcelona after the World Cup.
But his Atletico team-mates are confident the 27-year-old is fully focused on leading his side to what would be their third Europa League title since the start of the decade. He will spearhead the attack alongside Diego Costa.
“We have been speaking about him all year. Physically he is in good shape and for him, it is important to win a title because he needs it, and that is the only thing that matters to him,” said veteran midfielder Gabi.
“I hope it is not his last final because we need him and he knows that we want him to stay.”
This game is a sort of homecoming for Griezmann, who has spent his whole club career in Spain but grew up in Macon, less than an hour’s drive from Lyon.
The memories of their agonizing defeats to Real in the Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016 remain fresh for Simeone and his side.
However, Simeone has worked wonders with Atletico since being appointed in late 2011 and sealing Europa League victory six months later.
The Spanish side has greater collective experience of European finals, but Simeone was not keen to draw too many comparisons with what has come before.
“It is never good to make comparisons. The Champions League is one thing and the Europa League another,” said Simeone, who will serve a touchline ban on Wednesday after being sent to the stands against Arsenal in the semi-finals.
“Experience is an important factor although it won’t completely influence the game,” he added.
– Will home advantage count? –
Having dropped into this competition following a surprise group-stage exit from the Champions League, Atletico is favourites, but Marseille is motivated by the prospect of playing on home soil.
They are also driven by the desire to win a second European trophy, just as the club marks 25 years since beating AC Milan in the 1993 Champions League final.
“I think the expectation in Marseille and across the country is quite extraordinary and our motivation comes from that,” said Dimitri Payet, who is confident of being fully fit after a minor muscle injury.
Marseille, who have lost three other European finals, have come all the way from the qualifying rounds in this season’s Europa League, starting out last July.
“We know that Atletico has the experience. They came out of the Champions League while we came through the Europa League qualifiers,” said coach Rudi Garcia.
“But we have experienced players too, players who have played in and won European finals, the Champions League in the case of Luiz Gustavo. We want to enjoy the moment, let our hair down.”
Garcia is confident of having a full squad at his disposal, despite concerns over the fitness of centre-back Rolando, Bouna Sarr, and striker Kostas Mitroglou.
Meanwhile, authorities in Lyon are hoping the match, which will kick off at 8:45 pm (1845 GMT), will not be marred by violence.
Only around 11,500 Marseille fans will officially be in attendance in a crowd of close to 60,000 and those without tickets have been urged not to travel amid fears of trouble between them and fans of Lyon.
A big rivalry has developed in recent years between the clubs, and there will be 1,250 police officers deployed in the city and around the stadium.
Source: The Punch
Oritsefemi’s Spouse, Nabila Slams ladies sliding into his DM – “Have some dignity”
Nigerian singer, Oritsefemi’s Spouse, Nabila went on Instagram to slam ladies sliding into her husband’s DM, now that he has become famous and made wealth.
Read her posts below:
Oritsefemi Majemite Ekele (born January 5, 1985), fondly called by his first name Oritse Femi, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and performer. He is best known for his remake of Fela Kuti’s “Double Wahala” song.
His rendition of the song earned him two nominations at the 2014 City People Entertainment Awards, winning the award for Most Popular Song of the Year. He also won the Indigenous Artist of the Year award at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In 2014, he released the remix for his version of the song featuring D’banj.
Davido Seen at a Bank Robbery Scene In Atlanta (Photos/Video)
A bank robbery operation happened over the weekend in Atlanta, and Nigerian singer, Davido who was present at the incident scene has shared a video.
David Adeleke, fondly called by his stage name Davido, has gone to his Instagram stories to disclose to his fans and supporters about the bank robbery scene he witnessed in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
Davido who posted a video clip showing how he was close to the scene of the bank robbery in his Atlanta neighbourhood can be heard in the clip asking residents what’s going on.
See more photos and video from the scene below;
Reekado Banks – “I don’t even know the difference btw SARS and ARMED ROBBERS”
Another Nigerian celebrity who has been harassed by officials of SARS has gone online to share his encounter.
Mavin records act, Reekado Banks, disclosed that the operatives saw his car, they asked him and his crew member to come down from the car they the SARS operatives were pointing a gun at them.
It was only when they saw that he was “Reekado Banks” that their blood came down… The singer took to his Twitter to share,
“I don’t even know the difference btw SARZ and ARMED ROBBERS! The ones I met today overtook in a regular car, No uniforms, immediately pointed their guns and asked that we came down from the car, then calmed down when they noticed me. Biko what if it wasn’t me ??? 😩😩”
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