France forward Antoine Griezmann said he chose not to celebrate his goal against Uruguay in their World Cup quarter final 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.