Oblak and Griezmann in search of their first European title
The stars of Atlético have been excellent this season but have plenty of space in their trophy cabinet having fallen short a couple of times before.
Jan Oblak and Antoine Griezmann, two of Atlético Madrid’s stars at either end of the field are in search of titles. A win in the Europa League final could be decisive in whether they wear the red and white of Atlético Madrid next season with interest in both players from various clubs around Europe. They have only lifted a Spanish Super Cup since arriving at the club but that’s it after a close call two seasons ago. The two players arrived in the summer of 2014 and won the trophy just a month after arriving. In Oblak’s case, however, he didn’t even play in the double-header against Real Madrid.
Griezmann’s future is either at Atlético or at Barcelona where negotiations are reportedly very advanced. He has always said he wants to win titles. The 27-year-old has one, along with an under-19 Euro Championship win with France, on his CV. In the Spanish Super Cup, he provided an assist to Mario Mandzukic at the Vicente Calderon, which was enough to win the game 1-0 and seal the title after the 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid. In the Champions League final two years ago, against the same opposition, Griezmann missed a penalty in regular time but scored in the shoot-out before Real Madrid beat them 6-4 on the night.
In extra-time, he missed out on a Euros with France after Èder landed Portugal’s winner in France in 2016. He finished the tournament as the best player and its top scorer but again, he saw the title slip through his fingers. Two years on and he has another chance with a similar pattern, although he switches the Champions League for the Europa League and the European Championship with the World Cup. His first chance comes in Lyon on Wednesday, which is just 70 kilometres from his hometown of Macon.
Oblak, for his part, won a league title, a cup and a league cup with Benfica during his spell in Portugal. He has, however, lost two European finals in the cruelest of fashions. He lost the Champions League final against Real Madrid and the Europa League final in 2014 against Sevilla on penalties again. The Slovenian saved a penalty at the weekend against Getafe and might need the practice given his recent form in European finals. He has stopped three of four penalties this season with only Willian Jose from Real Sociedad finding a way past the keeper from the spot.