Did Atletico Madrid Wait for Barcelona to Lose Lionel Messi to Sign Antoine Griezmann?

Published 09/01/2021, 1:19 PM EDT
Griezmann maybe moving to Barcelona soon.


When you mention a football club in crisis, FC Barcelona is the first name that pops into anyone’s mind. Not being able to keep their best player is probably the biggest sign. Lionel Messi came as a kid with a beaming smile and left the club as a legend in tears.

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Having over 1.9 million dollars in debt, the club had to let go of their key players, Messi left for PSG on a free. Likewise, Antoine Griezmann left the club after two unproductive years at the club. Yet, did Atletico Madrid trick Barcelona again?

Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – August 15, 2021 Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann in action REUTERS/Albert Gea

Barcelona’s troubles begin

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After selling Griezmann in 2019 for a reported fee of 120 million euros, Atletico Madrid got a generational talent in Joao Felix as they paid an extra six million from the former’s transfer deal to complete the signing. Despite Barcelona signing Antoine, they could not manage a league title that season. Karim Benzema rocketed Real Madrid to their 34th La Liga title.

The next season proved decisive as Barcelona sold Luis Suarez to Atletico for a meager sum of 6 million euros who helped Atleti lift the Spanish league title in the 2020-21 season. On the other hand, Griezmann couldn’t muster up outstanding performances at the Nou Camp. Earning a reported $560,000 a week, the forward faced a backlash from fans after his lackluster performances.

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Atletico Madrid make smart moves

The current window saw Lionel Messi leave Barcelona after an incredible career in Spain. Due to La Liga rules and financial restrictions, the club bid goodbye to its legend. In spite of all the downpour of emotions, it was necessary to leave him out for the club to sustain.

In spite of all those imprudent moves, Atletico found a weak spot and acted accordingly. A lot of players agreed to take a wage cut to save the club from going down at Barca; however, Griezmann stayed put. Barca fans became frustrated at him not taking a wage cut when the club was in debt. Moreover, they still blame him for Messi’s move to PSG.

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Atletico made their move. They signed Griezmann on loan with an obligation to buy him for 40 million euros in the future. What a steal.

Soccer Football – LaLiga – Athletic Bilbao v FC Barcelona – San Mames, Bilbao, Spain – August 21, 2021 FC Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann reacts REUTERS/Vincent West

Barca, in the meantime, took out a 35 million euro bank loan and jeopardized 85 million worth of future funds to fund the deal for the Frenchman back in 2019. Even though his enormous wages are off their wage bill, Barcelona is in trouble. The club has talented young players on their squad but seems to lack that star quality in their lineup.

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In conclusion, Atletico will look to challenge for their second consecutive title with Griezmann motivated to answer his critics.

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Jacob Gijy

389 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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