This blow, no one had seen it coming. Not even the main party concerned, no doubt. And yet, Antoine Griezmann has just surprised everyone by leaving FC Barcelona in the very last hours of an already historic 2021 summer transfer window, marked in particular by the transfers of Messi and Ronaldo. Even more than his decision to leave Barça two years after his arrival, it is the destination chosen by Griezmann that surprises: Atlético de Madrid. It is loaned for one year with an optional additional year and a compulsory purchase option.
And yet, the transfer almost never took place in the last minutes of the transfer window. Grizou’s loan was indeed conditional on Saul Niguez leaving for Chelsea. It was slow to be formalized, the Griezmann operation seemed to fail. But the Spaniard signed well, late, at the Blues and the French international’s contract was finally registered … at 11.59 p.m., one minute before the transfer window closed.
So you read that correctly: two years after leaving the other club in the Spanish capital, champion last season, Antoine Griezmann has decided to return to the house which saw him shine between 2014 and 2019. In five seasons with the Colchoneros, the Frenchman had gone from a safe bet in La Liga to an international star, in parallel with his rise in the France team.
Under the orders of Diego Simeone, the small winger trained at Real Sociedad had turned into a pressing machine, in addition to perfecting his scoring skills. Two years after his departure, Antoine Griezmann will also have the pleasure of finding the Argentine coach at the helm, which is certainly not foreign to his choice.
At 30, the 2018 world champion also had touches in England during the summer, but he therefore opted for a romantic return to the Colchoneros. After two more than complicated seasons in Barcelona, where he never managed to express himself or to confirm the expectations placed on him, Antoine Griezmann returns to the Matelassiers, home. Something to sleep well in his Alsatian hotel where he is with the France team, on the eve of France-Bosnia in Strasbourg.