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Footballer Antoine Griezmann is now the official ambassador of Yu-Gi-Oh

And apparently a big fan.

World-renowned French footballer and esports organization owner Antoine Griezmann has added a new title to his repertoire: the official ambassador of trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh.

PR Organization Bastion announced the odd bit of news in a tweet on June 10th, saying that Griezmann has partnered with Konami - which has published the game since 1999 - to seemingly spread the good dueling word. “Yes, French football superstar Antoine Griezmann. The man loves Yu-Gi-Oh,” the tweet reads.

A linked video shows excerpts from an interview with Griezmann, who speaks about first encountering the game as a young child and his fond memories watching the anime. He mentions being enamoured with the first tournament arc of the show and really sympathizing with main character Yugi’s quest to rescue his grandfather from the Shadow Realm. That said, Griezmann admits the brash but loyal Joey is his favourite character and the one he would most likely be because “he is funny and never gives up.”

It’s not clear whether Yu-Gi-Oh has stayed a constant in Griezmann’s life, as he mentioned starting watching the anime again “four or five months ago when I was selected for international duty.” For him, it apparently holds up really well. The interview also mentions that he owned plenty of cards as a child, though he lacked a consistent play group. That collection is now a lot more robust, Griezmann says, but he needs to research how the game has changed in the interim years.

“I have everything I need to Duel, but I need to train more as it’s quite complex nowadays,” he said.

Yu-Gi-Oh’s format pits two competitors against each other, each taking turns summoning creatures and laying traps in an attempt to deplete the other’s life total to zero, thus claiming victory. That simple premise is complicated by dozens of summoning strategies introduced through expansions over the years, along with a massive roster of possible cards that could be built into a deck.

Griezmann’s favourite: Time Wizard, on account of the random element it introduces to a match - and further cementing his affinity for Joey from the original anime series.

At least one act Griezmann will undergo as Yu-Gi-Oh’s official ambassador is to help create a special card of his own that will be available to the public and playable in the game. More personally, he says he accepted the title as a way of bringing a cherished piece of his childhood forward to 2021.

“I know that one day I will be able to show my son what his dad used to watch when he was young, and I’m sure he is going to love it. It will be a kind of legacy, he said.

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter


Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.