Antoine Griezmann is expecting France to come up against a Uruguay side in the World Cup quarter-finals which adopts a similar “boring” mindset to his club employers Atletico Madrid.
Les Bleus thrilled a global audience when booking their place in the last eight of Russia 2018, with a 4-3 classic against Argentina carrying them one step closer to the ultimate prize.
Uruguay, in contrast, battled their way to a 2-1 victory over Portugal, with two stunning goals from Edinson Cavani getting the job done before he was forced from the field with an untimely knock.
The South American outfit are renowned for their dogged approach to defence, with Cavani and Luis Suarez providing an attacking spark, and Griezmann expects more of the same on Friday from a side which includes two of his club team-mates, Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez.
The Atletico frontman told reporters on the next challenge facing France: “Uruguay will be like Atletico, they will take their time, fall, go to the referee.
“We will have to get used to that because the match will be boring and they will want to bring us into that.”
Griezmann added on Paris Saint-Germain star Cavani, who limped out of a win over Portugal with a muscle complaint: “He’s the best forward according to my thinking.
“He makes 10,000 calls, works for the team, and if he’s injured they will change a lot, he got both goals [against Portugal].”
While Uruguay are sweating on the fitness of their star frontman, France are ready to unleash Cavani’s club colleague Kylian Mbappe.
The teenager starred against Argentina, netting twice to emulate a record set by Brazil icon Pele 60 years ago, and more of the same is expected from the youngster heading forward.
Griezmann said of a team-mate attracting plenty of praise : “It’s up to us to put him in the right conditions and do everything to make him feel good on the pitch. They [Uruguay] will probably defend differently against him.
“It is a quarter-final and he is just 19 years old. He was quiet in the locker room and the tunnel. His maturity impresses me. He is always listening, it’s great for us.
“When he wants to score even more, to hurt teams, he’ll be a top player. He will rise up the game. It’s up to us to give him the right balls.”
France were able to do that against Argentina, with the Albiceleste struggling to do likewise with their own talisman as Lionel Messi was kept surprisingly quiet .
Griezmann added on that containing job: “I was surprised that Argentina played without strikers, with [Gonzalo] Higuain and [Sergio] Aguero on the bench, but it was [Jorge] Sampaoli who made his choices.
“We had to manage the [Javier] Mascherano-Messi and [Ever] Banega-Messi connections. We did it well.”