As expected for weeks, Antoine Griezmann joined FC Barcelona. The club blaugrana paid the Atlético de Madrid the 120 million euros of its release clause. In Catalonia, the French striker must form the new line of fire attack with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez ... and maybe Neymar.
In the summer of 2018, just before starting to conquer the World Cup with the France team, Antoine Griezmann had surprised the planet football with the controversial documentary " The Decision ", in which he announced his choice to stay at Atlético de Madrid, his club since 2014. FC Barcelona, orphan Neymar (party PSG a year earlier) and very eager to attach the services of "Grizou", was rejected and publicly humiliated.
A year later, the affront is washed: this Friday, July 12, the striker has officially become a player of Barça.
You were waiting for this. pic.twitter.com/vVR0Prmy0bFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 12, 2019
Griezmann arrives to take a new course ... and finally win
The transfer of Antoine Griezmann from Atlético to Barcelona was no longer a shadow of doubt for almost two months. On May 14, the player announced himself that his adventure in Madrid was coming to an end and that he would join another team from the 2019-2020 season. Another team, that meant FC Barcelona, even if shy rumors with no real foundation evoked Paris Saint-Germain and the English Premier League as possible destinations.
Recruited for 30 million euros in 2014 to Real Sociedad, his training club, Antoine Griezmann has spent five seasons in the jersey of Atlético. Under Diego Simeone, the native of Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire) rose among the best players in the world, finishing twice on the third step of the Ballon d'Or (2016 and 2018). But his record has not grown much less than he would have liked.
With Atlético de Madrid, the Frenchman has only won three trophies, including two minors: the 2014 Spanish Supercup, the Europa League 2018 and the 2018 European Supercup. In 2016, Atlético lost a League final champions against rivals Real Madrid, with a bonus penalty missed during the meeting by ... Antoine Griezmann.
Atlético judge this 120 million euros "insufficient" and shows the fangs
If he had recruited Griezmann in 2018, FC Barcelona would have disbursed 200 million euros, the amount of its release clause at the time. It has fallen to 120 million euros in 2019. Barça has paid this sum, but Atlético does not stop there.
In a statement issued shortly after the announcement of the arrival of the world champion in the Blaugrana, the Madrid club believes that this amount is " insufficient " because " it is obvious that the agreement between the player and FC Barcelona has been found before the above-mentioned clause was reduced from EUR 200 to 120 million '. Atlético adds that Griezmann has also announced its future departure on May 14, before the clause is reduced.
Consequence: the club announces that it has launched " procedures " to defend its " interests ". Antoine Griezmann is well Barcelona, but the fight between Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona should continue on a legal level.
Comunicado oficial sobre the unilateral rescission of the contract that vincula has Antoine Griezmann con nuestro club https://t.co/FvqvTMH55jAtlético de Madrid (@Atleti) July 12, 2019
Neymar, impossible return ?
On the sporting side, Barça is left with problems of rich. The offensive sector is bottled because coach Ernesto Valverde now has Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Malcom, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho (who can also play in the midfield). The last two cities are the most likely to leave this summer.
Possible starts that might prove even more necessary if Neymar returns to Barca. Party with a crash in 2017 at PSG for a record amount of 222 million euros, the Brazilian animates the mercato: he would like to return to Catalonia, and the Paris club itself, tired of the individualist attitude of an attacker and more Seriously injured twice in two seasons, would be seller provided that an acceptable offer arrives on the table.
The various noises emanating from the French and Spanish press evoke a minimum amount requested by Paris: 300 million euros. A sum too important even for a wealthy club like Barca, who just paid 120 million euros for Antoine Griezmann, 75 million euros for Frankie De Jong, 26 million euros for Neto and 12 million euros for Emerson. To reduce the bill and satisfy the bosses Messi and Suarez, wanting to reform the famous line "MSN" (Messi-Suarez-Neymar), Barcelona could include one or two players in the possible transaction.
But all this remains, for the moment, in the field of fiction. Neymar must return to Paris Monday, July 15 (a week later than his other teammates, which irritated the PSG) and speak in stride. Will he and can he return to Barcelona this summer? The drama is far from over. And the Barcelona deal has already changed: now there is another cador attack in the game in the person of Antoine Griezmann.