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Barca boss Ronald Koeman fires back at Griezmann after comments on position

Koeman fires back at Griezmann after comments on position
© Reuters
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman insists that he does not play Antoine Griezmann out of position after the 29-year-old hinted that he was unhappy with his wide role.

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has responded to comments by Antoine Griezmann in which the Frenchman hinted that the former Netherlands manager was playing him out of position.

The former Atletico Madrid man has often featured on the right-hand side of the Barca midfield behind Lionel Messi, with Philippe Coutinho occupying the 10 role and Ansu Fati on the left-hand side.

However, Griezmann found the back of the net while playing behind the striker in France's 2-1 Nations League win over Croatia, and praised national team manager Didier Deschamps for starting him in his favoured position.

Now, Koeman has hit back at the 29-year-old's comments and insisted that he knows what is best for the Blaugrana, telling reporters: "I have spoken with Antoine and I told him that I'm looking out for what is best for the team. I think he's most effective on the right for us.

"He can play in three positions. He could also play as a No 10 or a No 9. In fact, when I was the Netherlands boss, in a game against France, he played on the right against us – which is the same at Barcelona.

"I have no problem with Antoine. I can only play one player in each of the three attacking positions. I do not play any players out of position.

"Griezmann can play wide coming inside on his left foot. If he has another position that he likes more, that is the situation, but we cannot have 10 players in the same role (No 10).

"I decide based on what's best for the team. The coach is in charge and the players must be at their best when they play."

Griezmann has registered 15 goals in 51 appearances for the Catalan powerhouses since his arrival, but the France international is yet to open his account for the current campaign.

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France's Antoine Griezmann in action against Sweden in the UEFA Nations League on September 5, 2020
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