After two mixed seasons at FC Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann leaves the Catalan club by the back door, to return to Atlético de Madrid.
Summer 2019: a year after his triumph in Russia with the Blues, and his real false arrival at FC Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann finally puts his bags in Catalonia. The Blaugrana club have lifted the release clause for French striker Atlético de Madrid set at 120 million euros. At 28 years old and in the prime of his life, Antoine Griezmann signed a 5-year contract, the most important of his life. In Barcelona, he has to assert himself as one of the very best players in the world, and why not aim for the Ballon d’Or. Two years later, nothing went as planned and Grizou left Barca through the back door.
Except that the dream will quickly collide with the harsh reality, and first that of the cohabitation with the duo Lionel Messi – Luis Suarez. Set back from the two South Americans despite obvious efforts, Griezmann spent long weeks looking for a place in the Catalan collective, giving rise to endless debates on his integration and his understanding with the Pulga. Obviously: the performance does not follow, and the scoring machine that it was with the Colchoneros stalls. As a result, he closed his first season with “only” 15 goals and 4 assists. Honorable, but far from Madrid statistics.
The increasingly questioned Frenchman was then given the benefit of the doubt for his first Barcelona adaptation season. Especially since he is entering his second year at Barca freed from the influence of Luis Suarez, gone… to Atletico de Madrid. Spearheading the Catalan attack with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann shows progress, but remains irregular in 2020-2021. The French suffered several hard blows, including non-tenure in the Champions League or during the Clasico against Real Madrid.
Despite slow progress over the weeks, its positioning and effectiveness continue to be debated. The numbers are improving, however, with 20 goals and 13 assists in 51 games. Griezmann shines particularly during the Copa del Rey matches, bringing his own to the coronation, his only title in two years at Barça. This summer after a decent Euro with the Blues, the Frenchman returns to Barcelona where his horizon brightens when Lionel Messi leaves the club. We then think its time has come, and that the 2018 world champion will finally inherit the keys to the truck and don the blaugrana boss costume. Missed.
Barely more than two weeks later, and with three La Liga games on the clock, the Frenchman has therefore taken his cliques and his slaps. Heading home, Atlético de Madrid, where he is on loan with an option to buy at 40 million euros, followed by a two-year contract plus an optional year. The critical financial situation of Barça, forced to downsize in order to qualify his recruits, may also have tipped the scales. But it’s hard not to speak of a failure for Antoine Griezmann, who leaves Barcelona by the back door after two mixed seasons given the expectations placed on him.
If the choice to return to Atlético, where he exploded in the eyes of the world between 2014 and 2019, is understandable, it is to be regretted that the Frenchman did not succeed in his Barcelona bet. Especially since the Catalan coach, Ronald Kœman, kept counting on him. At 30, Griezmann finally gives the impression of having wasted two years by retracing his steps, if not even regressing. Regardless, his return to Atlético de Madrid, still coached by mentor Diego Simeone, whose style of play suits him perfectly, can only revive him, however. And from a sporting point of view, at the moment T, leaving a declining, ruined Barca to join the champion of Spain even looks like a progression.
Mercato: Antoine Griezmann creates surprise by leaving Barça to return to Atlético de Madrid
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