Antoine Griezmann is determined to add the Champions League to his impressive list of honours as Atletico Madrid prepare to kick-off their latest bid for glory at Monaco on Tuesday.
Griezmann inspired Atleti to Europa League success last season, hitting a brace in the 3-0 final victory over Marseille, before starring in France's triumphant 2018 World Cup run.
Atletico were only in the Europa League after a Champions League group-stage exit in 2017 – quite a turn up for the 2014 and 2016 beaten finalists, and their attacking talisman takes his share of the blame
Griezmann, who committed his future to Atleti during the close season by penning a long-term contract until 2023, told AS: "When I see the Champions League trophy, I think, 'The next one's mine'. We didn't have a good campaign last season.
"In European football you know that any team can make life difficult for you. I wasn't at my best, and that didn't help the team.
"It's not so much that I'm any more determined; it's more a case of having more confidence in myself.
"Last year, I wasn't myself in the Champions League. But this year I feel great."
The 2019 final being slated for Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano stadium is a source of extra motivation.
"The final is at the Wanda Metropolitano and that means every home game will be an incredible occasion," Griezmann said, with Borussia Dortmund and Club Brugge also awaiting as Group A opponents.
"Rather than adding pressure, what I think it'll do is make for an even better atmosphere.
"The crowd will be buzzing even more than usual, and that'll help us. When the tough gets going, the fans push you on and squeeze that bit more out of you."
Despite being tipped in some quarters to best Barcelona and Real Madrid in LaLiga this season, Atletico are seven points off the pace already in ninth after taking five points from their opening four matches.
Asked whether he would prefer to emulate the 2013-14 LaLiga title success Atleti secured shortly before his arrival or lift the Champions League, the 27-year-old added: "The Champions League, without a shadow of a doubt.
"We won't be writing off LaLiga. We go out to win every game we play, be it our domestic league, the Copa del Rey, the Champions League or whatever."
26 de marzo 2019
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