Uruguay president Tabare Vazquez says it would be “an honour” to receive Antoine Griezmann to his official residence in Montevideo, as an appreciation of the World Cup winner’s long-standing affiliation with the South American country.
Following his man of the match performance as France beat Croatia 4-2 in Sunday’s World Cup final in Moscow, Griezmann accepted a Uruguay flag from a reporter at the news conference afterwards.
The gesture was much appreciated by the Uruguayan people, Vazquez wrote in a letter published on his official website.
“I could not but thank you for gesture you made to Uruguay of using the flag of our country in the news conference with international press in Moscow,” the letter said.
“I have been informed that you are planning a visit to our country. For me it would be an honour to receive you at the Presidency of the Republic, and to be able to personally express our gratitude.”
Martin Lasarte was Griezmann’s first senior coach as he came through the youth ranks at Real Sociedad, and ex-Uruguay international forward Carlos Bueno was a teammate at Anoeta.
At Atletico Madrid, Griezmann is very close to Uruguay defenders Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez, and asked Godin to be godfather to his daughter.
Griezmann did not celebrate when he scored against Uruguay in France’s 2-0 quarterfinal victory at the World Cup.
Not all Uruguay’s players accept Griezmann as an honorary countryman, however, with Barcelona’s Luis Suarez saying ahead of that meeting: “He is French and cannot know what it means to be Uruguayan.”