Miami, Fla. (Friday, July 12, 2019) –
It’s official. After months of rumours, French football star Antoine Griezmann is on his way to Catalunya. Fútbol Club Barcelona announced on Friday that they have come to terms with Atlético de Madrid after triggering Griezmann’s €120 million release clause. He has signed a five-year contract until June 30, 2024.
Griezmann, 28, tallied 133 goals and 56 assists through 256 matches with Atlético Madrid across all competitions. He has been capped 69 times for Les Bleues, scoring 28 goals and was a member of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Champions.
“I have decided to leave [Atlético], see other things, have other challenges and with great difficulty, this is what I feel and I need,” Griezmann said earlier this year. “It’s been five great years where I’ve won my first important trophies with a club. It’s been a very important stage.”
“I have enjoyed a lot, I have left everything in the field, I have tried to behave well, I have tried to give joy to the people who have come to the Metropolitano and also away from home, and I only have gratitude for all of you.”
His buyout clause with Barcelona is €800 million, making him one of the most expensive players in World football. Griezmann’s signing adds him to a potent Blaugrana attack that already features Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The move to Barcelona had been speculated for months in the media though there had never been any official comments from the Catalan club. The fact that the release clause in Griezmann’s contract went down from €200 million to €120 million on July 1 was good enough reason for Barça to wait.
Griezmann will be arriving in Barcelona on Sunday evening from Ibiza where he has been on vacation while waiting for Barcelona to call. He would then take the traditional photo at the Camp Nou in front of the club’s badge. On Monday the plans are for him to sign his contract with club president Josep María Bartomeu, while preparations are completed at the team store and auditorium (la Llotja del Camp Nou y el Auditori 1899), for the press conference and official presentation.
Barcelona will be going for its third consecutive LaLiga title, having also won an incredible 8 out of the past 11 titles in Spain. The UEFA Champions League, however, has proven to be a different story of late. Barcelona incredibly managed to lose in the knockout stages each of the past two years after having a three goal advantage on its opponents going into the return leg. This has prompted many fans to call for Manager Ernesto Valverde to be sacked, and for club President Bartomeu’s resignation.