Antoine Griezmann Says 2nd Barcelona Goal vs. Betis 'Copied' from Lionel Messi

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 25: Griezmann of FC Barcelona celebrate goal during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Real Betis Sevilla at the Camp Nou on August 25, 2019 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann said he copied his second goal against Real Betis on Sunday from a strike Lionel Messi produced in training.

Griezmann netted twice at the Camp Nou in a 5-2 win for Barca, curling past Dani Martin from the edge of the area for his second.

Per Sport, he said: "I saw Leo [Messi] do that in training and I copied him."

He also took inspiration from another of his sporting heroes, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, for his celebration:

The France striker said: "I like the ritual that LeBron James does before the games and I tried to copy him. I hope I can keep copying him for many more games, that would be the best signal."

Football journalist Rik Sharma did not care for it:

It was a big moment for the forward, though. 

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Barca entered the game having lost 1-0 against Athletic Bilbao in their opening La Liga fixture of the season and with Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele injured.

They found themselves behind after 15 minutes thanks to Nabil Fekir, but Griezmann fired the Catalan giants in front on his home debut with a volley shortly before half-time and his stunning second five minutes after the break.

Griezmann added:

"After a defeat people talk, we worked hard this week and their goal woke us up. We had a lot of drive after the Bilbao game and we put in a great performance in the end. There are a lot of things to improve but we have to continue on this path."

Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez hailed the former Atletico Madrid man, while OptaJose put his accomplishment in perspective:

Carles Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal also got on the scoresheet before Loren Moron added a late consolation for the visitors.

It was the kind of game Barca would likely have lost last season given the absentees from the side, but Griezmann's presence transformed the match in their favour.

Barcelona won't be close to full strength until their other forwards return to feature alongside him, but their absences will be mitigated if he can continue to step up with such performances.