FC Barcelona News

Antoine Griezmann Wanted to be Barcelona's New Leader Before Atletico Return: Report

Arjun Singh Devgan
Antoine Griezmann returned back to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona on a season-long loan deal
Antoine Griezmann returned back to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona on a season-long loan deal / David Ramos/Getty Images
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On-loan Atletico Madrid striker, Antoine Griezmann was reportedly not looking to leave Barcelona in the summer transfer window with Sport claiming that the Frenchman wanted to become the club's new leader following the departure of Argentina icon, Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona surprised the world when they announced on transfer deadline day that Griezmann would be returning to former club, Atletico on a season-long loan with the option to extend the loan by a further year, and complete with an obligatory permanent transfer clause worth €40million to be activated by 2023.

The 30-year-old was expected to become the focal point of attack for the Catalan giants following Messi's departure, but his high salary along with the club's need to resolve their massive wage bill and financial crisis forced their hand into loaning the player out to a direct rival.

Griezmann was signed by Barcelona in 2019 for a staggering 120m amid high expectations, but he struggled to fit in at Nou Camp, managing to score just 35 goals in 102 appearances for them. However, this move is seen as beneficial for both the player and Atletico, considering that it was with them that he established himself as one of the best players in the world.

The Frenchman scored 133 goals in 257 appearances for Atletico in his first spell with them, helping them win the 2018 Europa League and 2018 UEFA Super Cup.

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