Baby mate but it is French. He likes to prepare meat roasts that do not marry the white wines of his region. He pronounces "vamo", without the s, in the River Plate style, although since he was 13 he lives in the Basque Country. He is a close friend of Godín, who is five years older. It is usual to see him with the shirt of the Uruguayan team despite being the world champion with France. And he is a fan of Peñarol. Antoine Griezmann is a Uruguayan of Burgundy. Part of the blame for that Uruguayan Martín Lasarte (Montevideo, 1961), the coach who made him debut in Real Sociedad in 2009, and who now heads to Egyptian Al Ahly, with whom he is stage in Alicante.
It is the circumstance that two of the three strikers of the new Barcelona trident have the same discoverer since the coach also gave the alternative to Luis Suarez four years earlier in his country. "When I met Griezmann a bit, he reminded me of Luis because he was so determined. Griezmann always told me that he would be a forward, that he would reach the French national team and that he would play a World Cup. " That determination in such a young boy seemed a recklessness to him but at the same time he loved that it worked to obtain it. "You had to throw him out of training."
When I met him, he reminded me of Suarez for his decision; he always told me that he would be France's striker in a World Cup "
Something similar happened to him in Nacional with Suarez. "I had a special relationship with Abreu, because we were partners. He told me: 'If you put the kid the rest we will have to look for work'. I already had a personality of 25 years, "recalls this newspaper.
With Griezmann, everything began as sometimes these great stories begin. By chance. "The one who trained with us was Bingen (Endoirza) but he got injured and we had only 19 field players for a pre-season friendly. We needed a man from the left band. 'Take the juvenile', they told me. Because Griezmann was not the owner of Sanse. He left and scored two goals to Anaitasuna. To the next match, against Barakaldo, another two goals (1-3). So I talked to Loren, who was the sports director, to stay. I remember that there were doubts because he skipped a category ".
But Lasarte was convinced. "I supplied it with quality, courage and always making good decisions." In official match debuted in the Copa against Rayo. And in the first game as a starter in Segunda ... goal to Huesca (2-0).
He is fascinated that a small country like Uruguay is important; I told him about our passion, tradition and pride "
Lasarte does not understand how the Frenchman escaped and became the Peñarol. Or if. At first Griezmann lived in Bayonne and his agent brought him and took him every day. "We asked to rent a flat in the city. As he lived alone, I took him to dinner at home and he asked me about Uruguay. It fascinated her that being so small we were so important in soccer. I told him that we had a lot of pride, tradition and passion, that we did not give anything for lost ". A Freudian taste of manual that of Antoine, since he was rejected by skinny French football too muscular.
"Carlos Bueno, the forward, was more direct and bombarded him with Peñarol. The influence of a partner could more ", jokes Lasarte.
"Well, he made him an older brother. He showed him the secrets of the aerial game. Well, he was not very tall but he scored a lot of goals. And it taught him to anticipate, how to put his arms, to hit the big defenses in the air. There is a goal that marked Griezmann with the Atlético to Barça head on which I perfectly saw the movements of Bueno, "he says.
Mate is cultural, it is more than a drink or infusion, it is a way to bond; and Griezmann is an excellent preparer "
It was also his partner who introduced him to mate. "Griezmann is an excellent mat coach," reveals Lasarte, who puts on a medal. "The Uruguayans are far superior to the Argentines in saddling the mate. After a vacation Well he brought the light bulb, thermos and grass.
Since then he has always been close to Uruguayans: Lasarte, Bueno, Ifrán, Chory Castro, Prof Balbi, Prof Ortega, Godín, Giménez ... According to Lasarte, Griezmann can enter the circle of Suárez and Messi. "Mate is cultural. It is more than a drink or an infusion, it is a way to bond, to listen to anecdotes and to talk about life ".
On the football match, Lasarte dares less. "I met a boy and now he is one of the 10 best in the world. Then I played where you put it, without problems. But we must not forget that she has been a figure with Simeone, who runs and tries. But the most important thing is that he likes to associate ", says about the Uruguayan of Burgundy.