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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Antoine Griezmann: It would have been
‘inappropriate’ to celebrate this goal

NIZHNY NOVGOROD Russia (Xinhua) -- France forward Antoine Griezmann said he chose not to celebrate his goal against Uruguay in their World Cup quarterfinal on Friday "out of respect".

Before the match, Griezmann spoke of his affinity with the South American country, its people and their customs.

But that affection didn’t stop him from turning on a man-of-the-match performance as Les Bleus booked a semifinal place in Russia by beating the Celeste 2-0 in Yizhny Novgorod.

The 27-year-old set up Raphael Varane’s opening goal with a perfectly weighted free-kick before scoring with a long-range effort that slipped through the hands of Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

After his goal Griezmann stood with his arms by his sides before being mobbed by teammates.

"I didn’t celebrate that goal because when I started as a professional footballer I was supported by a Uruguayan, who showed me the good and the bad of football," he told reporters.

"Out of respect, I thought it was inappropriate to celebrate that goal."

Griezmann is good friends with Uruguay center-backs Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez and is an avid fan of mate, a popular herbal drink in Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil.
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UPDATE:

Uruguayan president thanks national team for World Cup show

MONTEVIDEO Uruguay (Xinhua) -- The President of Uruguay Tabare Vazquez on Friday sent his thanks to the country’s national soccer team after their elimination by France from the 2018 Russia World Cup on Friday.

Uruguay, missing its star performer of the tournament Edinson Cavani to injury, were soundly beaten 2-0.

"As president of the Republic and in the name of all Uruguayans, I express the pride we feel to be represented by the Uruguayan national soccer team," said Vazquez in a published statement.

"To the coaching staff, assistants and especially the players, our deepest thanks and congratulations for what you achieved at this World Cup," he added.

The president reiterated that "beyond sporting results, we recognize the dedication, the bravery, the commitment, the loyalty and the chivalry of all the players in defense of the high prestige that Uruguay has in the world."

Vazquez said that "with the end of this sporting moment, others will be opened, in which the people of Uruguay will continue supporting with fervor."

France became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of the competition after goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

             

 

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