After a long-drawn saga, Atletico Madrid finally confirmed Antoine Griezmann’s permanent move to the Civitas Metropolitano earlier today.
The past few months have been difficult for the Frenchman and his permanent transfer will go a long way in helping him see regular action for Los Rojiblancos.
Though Barcelona initially demanded €40 million for the French forward, Atletico Madrid stood firm that they would not shell out such an amount. Now, they have officially signed the player for just over €20 million in what can only be termed a bargain deal.
Speaking after his move was made official, Griezmann, who has signed a four-year contract until 2026 with Atletico, did not hold back his excitement and was visibly elated at the development.
“I will give everything for my club, the confidence of the coach, the fans, Atletico. Give everything for the shield, I can miss chances, passes but I will give everything until the last second until I can,” he said.
When Griezmann first left Atletico for Barcelona a few years ago, his decision was seen as disprespectful by the Atleti faithful. However, the player reassured today that his loyalty remained to the Madrid-based club by saying: “I am very proud to be from Atlético.”
He then spoke about the difficulties he went through to ensure that he could become a permanent Rojiblanco again and said that it was always his dream to return to his former club.
“I’m very happy, that’s what I wanted from the beginning. Stay here, be at Atlético again, and enjoy this club, this manager, the teammates, the fans and the stadium. I did everything to stay here.”
“People make the effort to have their season ticket, to come, to support us from the stands. It is my tribute to the fans,” he added.
Griezmann then elaborated on the various factors that came into play to help him decide his future and realise that Wanda Metropolitano was his one true home.
“When I saw there was the possibility of staying here for many years, I talked to the club. I knew what they wanted from me. I didn’t think about it much. I didn’t care about the efforts I was going to make. All I wanted was to stay here, enjoy here. My family is happy. It’s a club where they love me, a coach who loves me.”
Talking about his respect for manager Diego Simeone, Griezmann said: “Maximum respect for Simeone. He is a legend, I owe him a lot.
“I think I have reached my highest level thanks to him, to the club, without forgetting Real Sociedad. It is a satisfaction to give everything for him, fight for him and win games for him.”
The Frenchman also hailed Atletico Madrid captain Koke, saying: “He is a great person, a club legend. I don’t know who said that in the end, no one spoke of him as a player but as a person. He is very important to us as a player as well. We notice it when he is not there or when he is not so well, we notice it. He is a fantastic player.”
Source: Atletico Madrid Twitter
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”
He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”
And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.
“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.
“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”
“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.
And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.
“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo