Home / Sports / Antoine Griezmann: Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says forward must ‘get in the game extra’ | Football News

Antoine Griezmann: Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says forward must ‘get in the game extra’ | Football News

Last Updated: 17/08/19 7:59am

Antoine Griezmann endured a frustrating night at San Mames

Antoine Griezmann endured a frustrating night at San Mames

Antoine Griezmann endured a frustrating night at San Mames

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has called on Antoine Griezmann to be more involved in games after the Catalan giants were beaten 1-0 by Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga opener.

Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico Madrid for 120m euros over the summer and was handed his debut at San Mames on Friday.

However, he struggled to make an impact on the left of a front three in the first half, and did not fare much better when an injury to Luis Suarez saw him shifted into a more central role.

Aritz Aduriz celebrates his stunning late winner over Barcelona Aritz Aduriz celebrates his stunning late winner over Barcelona

Aritz Aduriz celebrates his stunning late winner over Barcelona

In quotes reported by Sport, Valverde said: “If he is close to the box he can finish, he moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen.

“Putting him on the left, we knew that he will look for goal, but we have a left-back and players who can take the game.

“We expect a lot from all the players and he has to look to get in the game more.”

Barca were without Lionel Messi, who is recovering from a calf injury, and Valverde added: “We’re not all like him and we have to learn to cope when he’s not there.

“It’s inevitable to miss him, but we need to do other things too.

“We have to transform possession into goal chances, that’s what counts.”

Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet react to Athletic Bilbao's goal Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet react to Athletic Bilbao's goal

Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet react to Athletic Bilbao’s goal

On the injury to Suarez, who hit the woodwork with Barca’s best chance before being forced off late in the first half, Valverde said: “Luis has a problem with the calf and his injury set us back, because in the second half we spent a lot of time in Athletic’s box and lacked finishers there.”

Bilbao’s winner came courtesy of a spectacular overhead kick from 38-year-old Aritz Aduriz in the 89th minute, with the veteran forward – who will retire at the end of the season – having only been on the field for a minute.

“Everything in life has a start and a finish,” he said of his impending retirement, as quoted by AS.

“I’m grateful to be able to choose to end things where I’m happiest.

“(The goal) is dedicated to my family and everyone who supports me.

“These kind of things make football so beautiful.”

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