Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann was met with an expectedly hostile reception at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday night, when he faced former club Atletico Madrid for the first time. Some Atletico fans even chanted death threats at the France international.


Griezmann had previously earned praise for pledging himself to Atletico through difficult times for the club, refusing to leave during a transfer ban and agreeing to a new contract. He even marked the occasion with an announcement that read, ‘My fans, my team, MY HOME!’

Yet it was little more than a year later when he was unveiled as a Barcelona player, with the Catalans triggering a buyout clause that had fallen from €200m to €120m just days earlier.


Atletico filed a formal complaint about the fee, insisting that the deal had been secretly agreed between the player and his new club in March, claiming that Barcelona were obliged to pay the higher €200m based on the timing of the agreement.

Eventually, the Catalans were fined a paltry sum of €300, while Griezmann himself was absolved any responsibility for his part by the Spanish federation.


The whole saga has left a sour taste in the mouth for Atletico and their fans.


During Sunday’s clash, ​won by a late Lionel Messi goal, home supporters unfurled a banner aimed at Griezmann that read, “You wanted to be a name and you forgot to be a man.”

A plaque in honour of Griezmann's service outside the stadium was adorned with toy rats prior to kick off, something which has previously happened with former Colchoneros stopper Thibaut Courtois who joined Real Madrid.


During the game, Atletico fans were also warned via a PA announcement not to engage in offensive singing, but a section continued to chant ‘Griezmann die’. The club could be sanctioned as a result.

Griezmann started the game and played the full 90 minutes. But he has struggled for his best form since moving to Catalonia and hasn’t scored in La Liga since October. 


In all competitions, his tally of just five goals and three assists in 18 appearances is a source of disappointment.


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