Earlier tonight Antoine Griezmann revealed that he intends to continue his career at Atlético Madrid the forthcoming season. The French international is currently on international duty with his home country, ready to participate at the ongoing World Cup.
The 27-year-old took to twitter with a classy message for his Atlético Family. His tweet read: ‘My fans, my team, MY HOME!!!’
Recently there had been a lot of heavy speculation surrounding Griezmann’s future, with a lot of it regarding a possible transfer to Barcelona. It is quite clear the Barcelona have made efforts to pursuit a deal for the Frenchman, after forcing an official statement Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín back in March. He provided the following statement on the matter, via the club’s official website.
“We’re fed up with Barcelona’s attitude. That a president, player and a board member speak the way they’ve done about the future of a player with an existing contract and just a few days before disputing a European final, is an absolute lack of respect towards Atlético Madrid and its fans.
”Atlético de Madrid’s stance is very clear and has been made public on numerous occasions. Not once have we negotiated for Griezmann nor do we have any intention to do so. A few months ago, I personally expressed to Barcelona’s president that our player isn’t for sale nor are we going to sell him. At the same time, I let him know that his inappropriate conduct was against the integrity of the competition, especially since we’ve been competing for the league title throughout the season and Barcelona have been continuously pressuring one of the most relevant players from our squad. I also told him in that moment, that in the chance the player exercised his right to nullify his contract due to their pressure throughout the season that Atlético de Madrid would demand Barcelona compensation for their inappropriate behaviour.
”Enough is enough. I hope this statement serves its purpose and that us Atlético fans can enjoy this moment and prepare ourselves for a final like we should.”
So, with Barcelona’s interest apparent, why would Griezmann choose to stay put?
As it stands, Antoine Griezmann is a hero in Madrid, the fans of Atlético adore their key man. There is always going to be the ambition for players to move on and play at the highest level but in truth Griezmann isn’t at a poor side or playing at a poor level.
Atlético Madrid have actually been Champions League finalists more recently than Barcelona, back in the 2015/16. Now, there is no suggest here as to who is better, it is simply a fact. Another fact is that, Madrid right now are a stable club with the potential to do big things. This year’s Europa League Champions backed up with a respectable 2nd place league finish, and a place amongst the Champions League next season.
Last season, Griezmann featured 49 times for Diego Simeone’s side across all competitions, helping them with 30 goals amongst 14 assists. Quite frankly an astonishing return. Having featured in just under a half century of games it is blatant that he is a key player where he is. That could all be cast into doubt should he move to a club like Barcelona, with competition for places in attacking areas very tough the chances of getting so much game time could become limited.
With options like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and such, it would be fair to say Barcelona are a little more blessed in attacking areas than Atlético.
A French reunion
Just days ago, it was announced that Griezmann’s France team mate Thomas Lemar had reached a ‘preliminary agreement’ with Atletico over a summer transfer.
Now less than a week down the line the future of Griezmann has seemingly been resolved, could it just be a sheer coincidence?
The pair a both a part of France’s World Cup squad and they will now be hoping they can join each other next season in Spain, still celebrating success in Russia.
Lemar’s arrival in the Spanish capital will see him become the fourth Frenchman at Simeone’s disposal.
What do you think of Griezmann’s decision, has he made the right choice?
By James Miller