'It did a lot of damage,' says Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann has admitted that he "deserved" the backlash from Atletico Madrid fans following his move to Barcelona.

Griezmann promised to stay at Atletico but left for Barcelona in 2019.
When he returned to Atletico, he was booed and whistled.

WHAT OCCURED? After months of speculation, the French international famously announced his decision to reject a transfer to Barcelona and stay at Atletico in the summer of 2018. However, one year later, the Blaugrana paid his full €120m (£107m/$134m) release clause to prise him away from Wanda Metropolitano. The move infuriated Atletico fans, but Griezmann ended up returning to the capital on a two-year loan deal in 2021 after failing to impress at Camp Nou, it featured a €40 million (£35 million/$40 million) buy option if he played at least 45 minutes in half of Atletico's games this season. He was whistled and booed by the home crowd during his initial return to Diego Simeone's ranks, but had appealed for forgiveness when his transfer was confirmed permanent in October, and has now conceded he "earned" the unpleasant reaction.


"That [the Barcelona trade] did a lot of damage to the fans," they said. They offered me everything, and in the end, I left because that is what I want and required. As a fan, I would have been furious as well. "I deserved it," Griezmann told Movistar.

"I became very modest and worked hard to rectify that. Those who know me understand how important this relationship with the fans is to me; I need their love and your support to perform at my best."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Griezmann has won back Atletico fans with solid performances on the field, and there is no longer any bad blood between them. This season, he has been one of their standout performers, with eight goals and ten assists in 33 games across all competitions.


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT FOR GRIEZMANN? The attacker will look to score when Atletico Madrid hosts Sevilla in their next La Liga match on Saturday.


<i>Deleted Member</i>