Antoine Griezmann Snubs Barcelona in Favor of Atletico Madrid Stay

Atletico Madrid's striker Antoine Griezmann
Atletico Madrid's striker Antoine Griezmann. Photo by Matt McNulty/JMP/REX/Shutterstock

French soccer superstar Antoine Griezmann won’t join Barcelona and intends to sign a new contract with Atletico Madrid. Griezmann revealed this in a documentary titled “The Decision,” which aired on Thursday on Spanish TV channel Movistar+. According to the 27-year-old, he wanted to end the speculation about his future before the start of the 2018 World Cup tournament and focus on France national soccer team.

“They [Atletico Madrid] are doing everything possible to make sure the team keeps growing. It’s incredible. I can’t take it anymore, I need to tell the people that I want to stay,” – said Griezmann in the documentary.

“I feel there are things to do with Atletico,” – Griezmann added. “If they buy good players we can win the Champions League here and enter the history of the club. Here, I would make history. At Barcelona, I would just be one more.”

Barcelona was interested in services of Antoine Griezmann after Neymar left the club in summer of 2017 to join Paris Saint-Germain, but didn’t make a move until this offseason. They engaged in the contract conversations with Griezmann and were ready to activate his $115 million release clause, giving them the opportunity to sing the player without having to wait for Atletico Madrid’s approval. But since Griezmann said no, Barcelona will have to turn to other options.

Antoine Griezmann started his professional soccer career in Spain, making his debut in 2010 for Real Sociedad. He established himself as club’s most promising young star, scoring 52 in his first four seasons as a professional. His good performances didn’t go unnoticed and Atlético Madrid reacted swiftly, signing him for a sum close to $35 million in 2014. Griezmann went on to play 209 games for the club since then, scoring 112 goals.