Antoine Griezmann admits losing the Champions League final with Atletico Madrid back in May hurt more than France’s Euro 2016 heartbreak.
Griezmann missed a crucial penalty in Atleti’s penalty-shootout loss to arch-rivals Real Madrid, which was followed by France being stunned by Portugal after extra time and subsequently a trophyless 2016 and third place on the Ballon d’Or podium for the attacker.
He told GQ: “The days that followed were very hard and difficult to experience, but with both being very important finals for me, the one that hurt the most was the Champions League final because we had two weeks to prepare for it and were making a fuss about how we’d celebrate it with our friends. In the end, we lost on penalties.
“Simeone? It’s true that last year I wanted to know whether he would go or not because in France there was a lot of talk about it.
“I wasn’t afraid, but it did make me think because for me the important thing is to stick with my teammates and also with Cholo because he helps me every day and teaches me new things, although my stay here will not depend on what happens from one day to another.
“Ballon d’Or with Ronaldo and Messi? I’m very happy to have appeared alongside them and with my 2016.
“I hope that I start  even better, but I’m very proud of what I did with Atleti and the national team. Hopefully I can continue like this.
“Atleti? We have more of the ball now, and that’s something I’m really grateful for, but we still defend and attack with 11 players.
“We’re not fussed about defending for long spells in a game because our objective is still to win.
“When I got here, it was all new for me. There’s a lot of intensity in training and we run a lot with [fitness coach] Profe Ortega.
“Of course, I struggled to adapt at first, but that December I saw I was in a position to fight for a starting place if I continued to work like I did.”