Lionel Messi took all the headlines from the Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund, but Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann also stood out:
The French international needs, as he himself has recognised, time to adapt, to the city, to the dressing room, to the system, to a new position, but the clash against the Germans served to show that the acclimatisation is already taking place.
The Barcelona man is beginning to connect and has enjoyed one of his first hugs with the captain.
Griezmann was news before and after the match against Lucien Favre’s Dortmund side.
The forward was a substitute against Borussia Dortmund as Ernesto Valverde opted for Ousmane Dembele in order to take advantage of his speed and his desire to shine against his form.
When injury struck, Valverde turned to his first choice front three and the former Atletico player took his place on the left flank, where he is struggling to adapt, although he is doing so without complaints or regrets but instead recognising the difficulty of so much change.
But it is evident that with each day he is more comfortable and at ease in the dressing room, not only being close to the French contingent, and on the turf.
His movement and link-up play with Messi and Suarez in Wednesday’s European clash were as evident as his celebrations.
“Every day we’ll be better, the more we work together the more we understand each other, I’m adapting to the style of play, which for me is new,” Griezmann said after the match.
The picture of his hug with Messi and then both of them with Suarez has gone around the world, for what it implies.
“Now you can no longer say anything about Antoine and his relationship with Messi,” said his friend and colleague Clément Lenglet.
The Blaugrana trident works, the French international has got his smile back in the Champions League after scoring his first European goal for the club against the German opposition in midweek.
For the first time in the continental tournament, all three of the MSG front line scored, just as they did against Eibar at Estadio Municipal de Ipurua.
The machinery has already been set in motion in all competitions, all understand, inside and outside the dressing room, that to raise titles, the Champions League has almost become an obsession, it is essential.
“Good players are doomed to understand each other,” said Valverde, who has always argued that the alliance between his stars was only a matter of time.
Against the German team, the three players connected on 20 occasions, especially highlighting the passes between Messi and Griezmann: they connected eight times, four each.
A return to the Wanda Metropolitana
The French striker, who has five goals this year and has given three assists, has participated in 17 of the 18 games played by Barcelona.
Only one has been lost, against Sevilla, and in two he has been a substitute: against Real Valladolid and Borussia Dortmund.
Valverde relies blindly on the star signing of the season, who, in his adaptation, also had a great handicap: Suarez and Messi caused injury leave for some days, so his connection has been interrupted.
But the trident already dazzles, and it does so just when Griezmann returns to his former home: Atletico Madrid.
The Blaugrana play on Sunday at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Griezmann was an idol, a hero, the star of Diego Simeone’s team, now he wants to be Valverde’s star, along with Messi and Suarez.
The coach was convinced in the build-up that this was the way to go to a create global football, and is already a partner of the Argentine and Uruguayan.
One year later
Griezmann scored his first continental goal for Barcelona against Borussia Dortmund, but that was more than just his European debut.
It’s an important target for the Frenchman, as he has broken his drought in the tournament.
It was just a year since he scored in the Champions League: since November 28, 2018, since the match against Monaco in Madrid.
He scored a goal in the 24th minute and the Colchoneros won 2-0.