Against a check of 120 million euros, the French star joined FC Barcelona for five seasons. In May 2019, he left the Madrid club.
The FC Barcelona has made official Friday 12th July 2019, the signing of French world champion Antoine Griezmann, publishing the good news on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, a lawyer from the tricolour attacker went to the headquarters of La Liga to pay the 120 million euros of its release clause set by Atletico Madrid, his previous club.
Lo estabas esperando. pic.twitter.com/v2KY2dNee8
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) 12 July 2019
A new clause at … 800 million euros
After announcing mid-May his departure from the “Atleti”, here is the world champion (28 years) set on his destination for the next 5 seasons, until 2024. And as expected, it is in Barça, the which he had paradoxically rejected a year earlier through an unusual documentary worthy of reality TV and entitled “The decision”.
To seal the transfer, Barça had met with Atlético to negotiate a normal sale without going through the activation of the release clause (EUR 120 million), synonymous with cash and additional taxes.
But Atlético, very recovered, announced to have refused to provide payment facilities, accusing Griezmann and Barça of “disrespect” for having found without knowledge of an agreement for a transfer in March, in full competition period.
In its statement, FC Barcelona actually says “have paid the clause of 120 million”, and have set the news to … EUR 800 million!
This officialization marks the end of a long serial about the French striker, who made a bold choice by leaving Atlético, where he was the only and uncontested star, to join Barça, where he will live in the shadows of the star Lionel Messi …. and perhaps Neymar, if the rumours materialize and if the Brazilian Paris SG is back in Catalonia.
“Take on other challenges”
However, Griezmann seemed sure of his choice: ” I know where I want to go, ” he said early June.
In Barcelona, the striker of the 257 games (133 goals) with the “Atleti” has more chances to accumulate the trophies, while he won in Madrid only a Supercup of Spain and a Europa League.
In addition, “Grizi” was deeply marked by the successive failures of Atlético in the Champions League, then by the departures of his friends Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich) and Diego Godin (Inter Milan). As a result, the player trained at Real Sociedad said he wanted to “see other things and take up other challenges”, with a bailout clause reduced from EUR 200 to 120 million on 1 July.
Griezmann will nevertheless have to convince the Camp Nou: he had wiped some whistles at the beginning of April because of his documentary, badly experienced by the Catalan fans. Sign of goodwill, the French would have agreed to reduce his salary (about 20 M EUR to Atlético) to enter the grid blaugrana: it speaks of 17 M EUR per year.
Barça, for its part, absolutely needed big names to make forget a mixed end of the season, including disillusionment in C1.
The arrival of Griezmann, after that of promising Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong (Ajax, EUR 75 million plus bonus), launches major maneuvers: the other Catalan summer soap opera should be the possible transfer of Neymar (27 years ), eager to return two years after leaving for EUR 222 million.
Adoubé by Messi
These recruits must allow renewing a workforce of which most managers are thirty.
The subtle discounts and relentless moves of Griezmann should stick with Barça’s passing game. But what will be the role of “Grizi” if Neymar returns to form the trio “MSN” with Messi and Suarez? Can the four attackers evolve together?
“(Griezmann) is a great player. And with the right players, it’s easy to get along, “Lionel Messi had dubbed him last year.
At Camp Nou, Griezmann has swelled a large French colony with winger Ousmane Dembélé, defenders Samuel Umtiti, Clément Lenglet and Jean-Clair Todibo and sports director Eric Abidal.
Staying in Liga, where he has done his entire career but never won, is also a guarantee: the last 10 Golden Balls were sacred while playing in Spain.
Auspicious for the Bronze Balloon 2016 and 2018? In any case, Griezmann has given himself the means to run for one day the prestigious award. On the condition of coming out of the overwhelming shadow of Messi, even of Neymar …