The Reason Antoine Griezmann Decided To Quit Atlético Madrid For A Move To Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann stunned many football fans after he announced that he would be leaving Atlético Madrid at the end of the season.
The 28-year-old French forward had previously been linked with Barcelona, but he would end up signing a new deal with Los Rojiblancos back in 2018.
However, Marca reports that the World Cup-winning Frenchman made the decision to leave Atlético for one reason: the chance to play with Lionel Messi.
Radio Marca added that when Griezmann had a meeting with Atlético chief executive officer Miguel Ángel Gil Marín and manager Diego Simeone, he said that he 'can't say no to Lionel Messi.'
According to reports, the Barcelona captain called the Atlético ace and told him to come and play for the La Liga champions.
Radio Marca noticia que em reunião do Griezmann com Gil Marin, diretor do Atletico, e Simeone, o francês disse "não posso dizer não a Leo" e que Messi o chamou para jogar no Barcelona.
- Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) 17 May 2019
Griezmann, whose contract runs until 2023, has a €120m release clause in his current deal and has been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ahead of City's FA Cup final clash against Watford on Saturday, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach said that the club would not be making a move for the France international.
"People of Barcelona, don't worry, guys, we are not going to buy Griezmann. We cannot afford it," he said.
"The people at Barcelona don't need to worry, we are not interested."
PSG have also ruled out a move for Griezmann after Thomas Tuchel came out to dismiss speculation that the player would be heading to the Ligue 1 champions.
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"Griezmann could play for any team in the world," he told a press conference (via Goal).
"He would please any coach, but right now signing him is not realistic for PSG. We are looking for players who fit a certain profile, we need to be realistic.
"We need defensive players and we have to start with that. There are things to improve and we need to do that by creating a team with more reliable players who have the ability to play a lot of games for us at this level.
"We know very well how we can produce big performances and this is the most important thing.
"It will take more defensive players to change our style and our mentality, but we don't need a lot. We need to continue to improve."
Griezmann announced that he would be leaving the club in a video message posted on Twitter.
"I wanted to tell the fans who have always given me a lot of love that I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges," he said.
"The truth is it has been difficult to take this route, but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years."
.@AntoGriezmann: "Han sido cinco años increíbles; muchas gracias por todo, os llevo en el corazón". pic.twitter.com/9XorY05u1T
- Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) 14 May 2019
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Featured Image Credit: PA
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