Have a box of tissues at the ready for this
Arsenal’s club doctor has told the touching story of how Antoine Griezmann came to Laurent Koscielny’s aid after the defender was injured during last season’s Europa League semi-final.
On Thursday, Koscielny finally made his first senior appearance for the Gunners since rupturing rupturing his Achilles tendon at the Wanda Metropolitano back in May.
The extremely painful injury meant the Frenchman missed out on last summer’s World Cup in Russia and on Friday, Arsenal released a documentary which gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the 33-year-old’s long road to recovery.
As part of that film, Dr Gary O’Driscoll tells the story of how Atlético Madrid striker Griezmann visited Koscielny in the dressing room at half-time.
“There were three or four of us in the dressing room and Laurent was lying on the bed, close to tears,” O’Driscoll told the club’s official website.
“It was an extremely emotional moment.
“The half-time whistle went and suddenly all the players came in. The level of endearment, respect and love for Laurent was apparent straight away. All the players came over, there were lots of hugs and then the team went off for the team talk.
“I stayed with Laurent and then there was a very emotional moment when one of the players from the opposition came in, it was Antoine Griezmann. He walked in, went over, put his arm around him and the two of them had a fond embrace and a cuddle – and it was a prolonged one.
“Griezmann didn’t say to me, ‘How bad is this?’ They looked at each other and they almost knew what the implications were. I think that made a big impression on Laurent.
“I think he knew that not only was he cared for and loved in the dressing room, but also that people outside were all thinking of him and were all caring about what was going to happen next, while also being aware that this is probably the end of his World Cup.”
Griezmann went on to win the Europa League with Atlético and the World Cup with France, while poor Koscielny could only watch on at home.