Mon. May 16th, 2022

BBC Sports

Antoine Griezmann will win his 100th France cap when the world champions face Spain in Sunday’s Nations League final.

The Atletico Madrid forward says it will be a “special night” at the San Siro in Milan.

Griezmann, who has played his entire career in Spain’s La Liga, will be the ninth Frenchman to win a centenary cap.

“The club of players with 100 caps is a very select one, so I’m very proud,” said the 30-year-old.

Griezmann, who made his France debut in 2014, added: “It’s going to be a special night. Admittedly, a 100th cap is always quite special. Hopefully the evening will end on a good note too.

“It’s a game we have to win. There’s a trophy to lift at the end so we’ll do everything to succeed. We have the right team to do it.”

‘I’ll give it my all’

The game will also be a big moment for Spain’s France-born centre-back Aymeric Laporte.

He played for France’s youth teams, but switched allegiance to Spain having moved to the country in 2010 to join Athletic Bilbao and granted citizenship this year.

Laporte captained Les Bleus sides from Under-17 level through to the U21s and was called up for three senior squads, but never made an appearance under coach Didier Deschamps.

The 27-year-old Manchester City player says he will “give it his all” against his country of birth.

“It will be a very special meeting for me but, as I have always said, I am very focused,” Laporte told Spain’s official Twitter account. “I am 100% or even 300% with Spain.

“I will face former team-mates [from France’s youth teams] but the only thing I think about is winning this final, that’s the most important thing for me right now. I’ll give it my all.”

Deschamps said he had not spoken to Laporte since the defender decided to join Spain.

He added: “I didn’t speak with him again. He had this opportunity and I am happy for him. He was with us, now he is with them. It is his choice and I respect it.

“It was the path he wanted to take and I hope it goes well for him, even if tomorrow our path will cross.”

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

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