At just 26 years old, the French international and Atletico Madrid star, Antoine Griezmann, is being sought after by a number of big clubs, from Manchester United to Barcelona. Griezmann is not only a creative forward and midfielder, but he scores goals too, so it's no wonder big clubs want him on their team and that everyone wants to learn how to play like him.
Watch this long range first time strike by Griezmann, whipped in at the top of the box:
While Griezmann is French, he really begin his professional soccer career in Spain playing for Real Sociedad. The French pro teams thought he was too small and didn't want to sign him.
So if a soccer coach tells you that you're just too small to play for his team, don't listen to him. Find another team to play for and show them you've got the ability to play at a high level.
He can cross, shoot, dribble, hold the ball and take players on, he's got all the skills of any top player in the world. He's very active on the field, always looking for the ball and trying to break down the defense. He's always moving to get open.
But to be able to play like Griezmann you'll have to master the ability to play with both feet, whether it's crossing and shooting. He can score from deep, as you saw in the video above or in close range. But it's his crossing of the ball that probably doesn't get enough attention. While he's an active player, moving around the field and playing on both sides, he's always got his head up, ready to whip the ball in to an open teammate.
And you'll have to spend a ton of time with the soccer ball so you can learn how to dribble and take players on. Again though, what top players like Griezmann can do is they can dribble at players and then burst past them. It's the ability to dribble at defenders at a slow and direct pace and then change speed to glide past them.
Who's was Griezmann's favorite soccer player growing up? David Beckham. And why Griezmann likes to wear long sleeve jerseys when he plays.
"I always play with long sleeves because Beckham always did it. He is my idol. He had a lot of class both on the pitch and outside. Nobody had his right foot. I would love to speak with him, but in Spanish because I don't speak English."
That's also why Griezmann wears the number 7, which was Beckham's number when he played, of course. Griezmann watched Beckham play for Manchester United when he was growing up. And Griezmann does wrap his foot around the ball like Beckham, to get bend on it, when he shoots and crosses with the inside area of his foot.
You can just tell that Griezmann loves to play the game of soccer. He just looks like he's having fun, scoring goals, beating defenders, crossing the ball, putting the ball through a defenders' legs...if you want to play like Griezmann don't lose sight of the fact that soccer is a game and you should have fun playing it.
Finally, if you want to play like Griezmann then you have to play defense too. While he's known more for his offensive creativity, Griezmann has the engery to play high up the field but also track back and help cover for other players.