Antoine Griezmann: I did everything possible to stay at Atletico Madrid

French striker makes his loan deal from Barcelona permanent

Antoine Griezmann has re-signed with Atletico Madrid from Barcelona on a permanent deal until 2026. AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Antoine Griezmann says he did "everything possible" to return to Atletico Madrid after making his loan deal from Barcelona permanent on Monday.

The French striker, 31, re-signed with his former club on a permanent basis having arrived back at the Metropolitano on loan in August 2021. The 2018 World Cup winner has signed a contract until 2026.

Reports in Spain say the player agreed to a significant salary cut from his Barcelona deal to make his move back to Atletico permanent.

"I'm very happy because it's what I wanted since I returned," Griezmann said in a video published by Atletico on their social media networks.

"To stay at Atletico, enjoy being at the club, with the coach, my teammates, the stadium, the fans, I did everything possible to stay here.

"When I saw there was the chance to stay for many years, I spoke with the club. I knew what they wanted from me, I didn't think much. I didn't care what I had to do. The one thing I wanted was to stay here."

It brings to an end a difficult spell at Barcelona for Griezmann, having signed for the Catalans from Atletico in 2019 for a transfer fee of €120 million ($116.5m).

He netted 35 goals in 102 appearances for Barcelona, winning the Copa del Rey there in 2021. His arrival at Barcelona was due to happen in 2018 but he infamously decided to stay at Atletico for another season, making his choice on a television documentary called La Decision.

Griezmann was a key figure in coach Diego Simeone's plans last season but has largely been reduced to substitute appearances in the current campaign as Atletico tried to escape paying a reported €40 million purchase fee if he player more than 45 minutes in more than 50 per cent of their games.

Atletico did not disclose the value of the new agreement, though Barcelona president Joan Laporta said the fee was €20m plus four more in variables during the club's members assembly on Sunday.

Griezmann has played 303 times for Atletico, scoring 144 goals, across his two stints in the Spanish capital and helped Simeone's side win the 2018 Europa League.

"I will give everything for my club, the trust of the coach, the fans, Atletico," Griezmann continued. "I'll give everything for the badge. I could miss chances, or passes, but I will give everything until the last second, as much as I can. I want that to be seen and felt.

"The fans make the effort of having their season ticket, of coming, of supporting us from the stands. This is my homage to the fans."

Updated: October 11, 2022, 9:37 AM
NEWSLETTERS