Griezmann shuns Barcelona’s offer, opts to stay at Atletico Madrid
French forward Antoine Griezmann, who took a page out of LeBron James’ book and made a decision on his future team into a TV special, said at the end of the video broadcast that he had rejected an offer from FC Barcelona and would be staying at Atletico Madrid.
“I’ve decided to stay,” Griezmann said in the more than half-hour broadcast titled “The Decision” and aired on Spanish network Movistar on Thursday, reports Efe.
In it, he talked about the doubts he has experienced since April.
Griezmann flipped the script on James’ much-criticised 2010 special, in which the NBA superstar infuriated Cleveland Cavaliers fans by announcing he would be joining the Miami Heat.
James returned to Cleveland in 2014 after winning two championships in Miami and led the Cavaliers to the 2015-16 NBA title.
The forward said he had spent the past two months debating whether to remain with the Colchoneros or accept Barca’s offer.
Griezmann is currently in Russia preparing with his teammates for France’s opening World Cup game against Australia on Saturday.
“I want to show everyone that I haven’t made a mistake and that I trust this club and my teammates,” he said.
The 27-year-old star forward said Atletico Madrid’s commitment to winning and bringing in top-notch players was the main factor in his decision.
“They’re doing everything possible so the team keeps growing, so we have even more chances” to be in the 2018-2019 Champions League final,” Griezmann said in reference to a match that will be played at Atleti’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
The next big challenge for his club will be the UEFA Super Cup, an Aug. 15 match pitting Atletico Madrid, winners of last season’s Europa League, against current Champions League title holders Real Madrid.
Real Madrid has been a major nemesis of the Colchoneros in big matches, having defeated their crosstown rival in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals.