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Valverde highlights Griezmann's 'bad intentions'

Valverde highlights Griezmann's 'bad intentions' after Barcelona debut

July 23, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The French striker's debut for Los Blaugrana ended in a defeat.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has hailed Antoine Griezmann for his performance and has thrown a challenge at the Frenchman following his debut. The 27-year-old striker made his first-ever bow for the Blaugrana in the 2-1 friendly defeat to Chelsea in Saitama on Tuesday.

The French forward who recently joined the Camp Nou outfit from Atletico Madrid, starred in attack in the company of Ousmane Dembele, Riqui Puig and Oriol Busquets. However, despite being unable to get on the scoresheet, the striker showed glimpses of his massive potential. Prior to the start of the second half, he was replaced by Rafinha Alcantara with the whole Barca starting eleven making way for another set to continue proceedings.

Following the end of the exciting encounter, Valverde, whose side missed out on winning the Rakuten Cup as a result of the defeat, expressed his fondness for Griezmann's showing. The 55-year-old Spanish manager singled out the Frenchman's killer instinct and desire to torment opponents as his strong attributes but challenged him to catch up to speed with the Catalans.

"Griezmann has to get used to Barcelona's play," Valverde said a post-match news conference.

"It's easy to see how dangerous he is with the ball. He has bad intentions always for the rival.

"We need a lot from him but it's the first match. He has to see how we pressure and dominate rivals, but it's the first match."

Barcelona will take on former skipper Andres Iniesta's Vissel Kobe in the next preseason encounter before meeting Arsenal and Napoli in the proceeding fixtures. The Camp Nou outfit will kick start its 2019/2020 La Liga campaign against Athletic Club on August 16.

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