'I want to be like him': Antoine Griezmann reveals United icon who inspired his shirt number & long sleeves
- The Frenchman opens up on his 'absolute role model'.
- It's 'blond-haired playmaker' David Beckham.
- The Frenchman claims the midfielder was perfect for him both on the pitch an off it.
Antoine Griezmann, who has announced his decision to leave Atletico Madrid, has shared a story behind his choice of the playing number for both Los Rojiblancos and France.
The striker, who wears a No.7 shirt, has written in his new book 'Getting To The Top Of World Football' it was Manchester United's Golden Boy David Beckham who inspired his choice:
"Throughout the history of Manchester United, some wonderful players have worn the number seven: George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham.
"Five Red Devil icons. But for me, it’s the blond-haired playmaker who represents the club best of all. His magical right foot was made for United, with whom he won one Champions League, two FA Cups and six league titles.
"This midfielder was a true pop star of football. Through his looks and his manner, he was also prized in the worlds of fashion and advertising. And he’s my absolute role model. He is the only one I would have loved to play with.
"I have always found Beckham to be perfect, both on the pitch and off it. There were charisma and class about everything he did. He was elegant on the field and in life, and he always dressed well.
"When it comes to maintaining his image, he’s the best. I aspire to be like him, to be comfortable and effective in both domains, knowing how to win trophies and to generate attention.
"Beckham is a marketing phenomenon who has become a brand, which I am not yet. Wherever he goes in the world people go crazy. It would be a blast to meet him, even though I don’t speak good English. But I imagine he can get by in Spanish, after having spent four seasons at Real.
"I wear the number seven on my back for Atlético Madrid, just as I do for France. It’s in homage to David Beckham. And the reason I have always worn long sleeves is also because I want to be like him."