Madrid – Antoine Griezmann’s resolution to go away Atletico Madrid has plunged the membership into chaos and fired the beginning gun for a summer season scramble amongst Europe’s elite.
Prime scorer in every of his 5 seasons, Griezmann was the stardust of Atleti, providing spontaneity and craft in a workforce famend for self-discipline and grit.
However he grafted too, which is why he was the proper match. Griezmann would run and chase as a lot as he handed and shot, his willingness maybe distinctive for one of many world’s premium attackers, a category through which he now deservedly belongs.
“I said it last season and I’ll say it again – Griezmann is the best player in the world,” coach Diego Simeone mentioned in October.
In a workforce that creates extra probabilities and offers him a higher probability of changing them, Griezmann is prone to ship a fair higher return than his 129 objectives for Atletico in 256 video games.
Yet one more in opposition to Levante on Saturday will edge the Frenchman away from Fernando Torres however Torres left a hero. Griezmann’s exit will go away a bitter style.
“The truth is it has been difficult to take this route but it’s what I feel I need,” Griezmann mentioned in a video for the followers.
He might be too late for a final outing in entrance of them on the Wanda Metropolitano, maybe out of respect for Diego Godin, the godfather to his daughter, who was given a rousing farewell on Sunday after the membership’s remaining residence sport of the season.
Maybe Griezmann was cautious too, not sure if he waved to the stands whether or not it could be waving arms he noticed coming again.
The hope was he can be enjoying there within the Champions League remaining on June 1, the dream of hoisting a European trophy on residence turf a key think about his resolution to reject Barcelona final yr.
Godin would have led them out however, at 33, along with his greatest years behind him, he goes with the blessing of the followers, a La Liga title, two Champions League finals, two Europa Leagues, three Tremendous Cups and a Copa del Rey underneath his arm.
Griezmann, 5 years youthful, needs to be getting into his prime, and departs with just one Europa League and a Tremendous Cup. Worse, most suspect he’s about to strengthen Barcelona.
‘Finest nonetheless to return’
“I think my best time is still to come,” Griezmann mentioned in December. “I know I can get even better.”
However his alternative is a mirrored image on Atletico too, elevating questions on their future underneath Simeone, who was there on Tuesday with chief govt Miguel Angel Gil Marin and sporting director Andrea Berta, when his star participant mentioned he wanted one thing new.
Two of Atletico’s three excellent gamers – Griezmann, Godin and Jan Oblak – are about to maneuver. Oblak signed a brand new deal final month however it comprises a launch clause, reportedly set at €120 million, hardly an obstructive worth for arguably the world’s primary goalkeeper.
Lucas Hernandez has already agreed to hitch Bayern Munich. Juanfran, Filipe Luis or Rodrigo could possibly be subsequent.
Admiration for Simeone is unwavering amongst supporters however frustration simmers too over model and progress. Atletico sit 11 factors behind Barcelona in La Liga, one yr after the hole completed at 14.
Griezmann’s early resolution at the very least permits time for what’s Simeone’s largest rebuild since he took cost in 2011.
He additionally begins it in a summer season when Atletico’s rivals are anticipated to reply to the success of the Premier League with spending sprees of their very own.
Neither Griezmann’s rejection of Barcelona, nor the followers whistling him at Camp Nou, will deter the membership from a contemporary strategy.
There have been whistles there as nicely for their very own Philippe Coutinho, whose future would grow to be much more unsure with Griezmann’s arrival.
A discount in Griezmann’s launch clause from €200 million to 120 on July 1, means there may be alo time for others to enter the bidding.
Paris Saint-Germain are prone to provide the fiercest competitors, notably in the event that they lay down a monetary bundle Barca can’t match.
Griezmann at PSG might in flip give encouragement to Actual Madrid, whose president Florentino Perez retains a powerful curiosity in each Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, every seen because the form of assertion signing to launch a wonderful new period underneath Zinedine Zidane.
One other is Paul Pogba, who Madrid would possibly discover simpler to lure if United framed Griezmann as his alternative. For Atletico, the knocks might carry on coming.