The end of a period: after five seasons spent in Atlético Madrid with a Europa League as the only significant title, Antoine Griezmann decided Tuesday, May 14 to leave the Colchoneros to take a new step in his career.
"A difficult decision"
It was in a video message of just over two minutes that the striker of the France team, world champion with the Blues last year in Russia, announced his choice to leave Atletico Madrid.
"After talking with Cholo (his coach Diego Simeone), with Miguel Angel (Gil, the main shareholder) and with the club employees (…), I made the decision to leave, to see other things and to meet other challenges "explained the native of Macon.
"It's a difficult decision but it's what I need and I want to thank you for all the affection you have shown me during these five years"added the 28-year-old Frenchman. "It has been incredible five years, thank you very much to everyone, you will always be in my heart".
The Golden Ball, witness of his time
In five seasons with Atlético Madrid, Griezmann won a Europa League in 2018 (victory against Marseille). A lean booty on the record of a player who can target the Golden Ball and who has necessarily played against him for the ultimate individual award in late 2018.
In spite of Moscow's world title in the selection, he took only 3rd place behind Croatian Luka Modric, vice-world champion, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was in the round of 16 at the World Cup with Portugal. But both had won the C1 with Real.
Atlético at the end of the race
Last summer, two days before the start of the World Cup, Griezmann had staged, reality TV, his choice to stay at Atlético. A suspense that dragged on, but that did not stop him from scoring against Australia, on a penalty in St. Petersburg, for the first match of the French team.
Griezmann said at the time dream of winning the Champions League with Atletico Madrid. This will never be the case, after an exit in the 8th finals this season, defeated Juventus Turin Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Madrid club arrives at the end of the race, with the departures of his great friend, the Uruguayan Diego Godin (who is the godfather of the daughter of Griezmann), and the left side Lucas Hernandez, leaving for Bayern Munich.
The "challenges" mentioned by "Grizou", his nickname in the French team, is to finally win the "Cup with big ears", monopolized by Real Madrid between 2016 and 2018. A coveted trophy he has hit so close: in 2016, in a final lost on penalties.
Clause at 120 million euros
He joined Atlético in the summer of 2014 while the Madrid club came out of a C1 final lost in overtime, already against rival Real.
The destination of Griezmann will shake the next few weeks of the summer transfer window.
The player trained in Macon and shaped Real Sociedad, has known only the Spanish championship, he has never won, the fault of the ultra domination of Real or FC Barcelona.
Before the 2018 World Cup and its decision to extend in Madrid, the top scorer of Euro-2016 had been the target of a very strong charm offensive from FC Barcelona. Argentina's Lionel Messi notably described Griezmann as a "super player" with whom it would be "easy to get along".
A year after the snub 2018, Barça could have a second chance, provided to break his piggy bank: the French release clause is set by Atlético to 120 million euros according to the Spanish press.
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