Barcelona and France striker Antoine Griezmann is currently getting ready to try and win Euro 2020 with his national side, but on the way to the tournament he’s been showing off his skills in a different game: Football Manager, where he’s been doing very well indeed.
Here’s Griezman, laptop out in mid-air, boasting that his beloved…Newcastle United have just done the quintuple (in 2027), winning the Premier League, Champion’s League, FA Cup, Super Cup and Community Shield. For reference, no English club has ever achieved this feat in real life, and while counting the Community Shield is a bit naff, it does technically count as silverware.
For non-football fans, Newcastle (who Griezman has never played for) are a once-proud club—in living memory they’ve been Premier League runners-up and regular Champions League contestants—who thanks to the negligence of current owner Mike Ashley have spent most of the last decade in the bottom half of the table while operating on a shoestring budget.
Which probably explains why Griezmann is playing as them; taking a team from rags to riches is always a fun challenge in a sports game, and while Newcastle aren’t exactly rags—they’re still in the Premier League!—it’s certainly harder work getting them to the pinnacle of world football than it was his former Football Manager side, Arsenal.
If you’re wondering how exactly he got the Toon to the top, the fact he managed to lure (the virtual version of) France teammate Kylian Mbappe away from PSG and tempt him to Newcastle for €134 million might explain a bit. Not sure Mbappe would have made the move if Steve Bruce was still in charge, especially since, as you can see towards the end of the video, he’s not exactly hot on the weather up north.