Atlético Madrid striker and Fortnite enthusiast Antoine Griezmann has announced today via a video released on Atleti’s Twitter account that he intends leave for pastures new this summer. In the video, Griezmann says he wants new challenges after “five incredible years” in Madrid:
Griezmann says he spoke with manager Diego “El Cholo” Simeone before making his decision, which will see him leave Atleti after 94 goals in 175 La Liga matches for the Colchoneros, as well as leading them to a Europa League title in 2018.
It is maybe a little odd that Griezmann chose now, when Atlético still have another match left in La Liga before the season is over, to state his future plans. But at least this quick, direct announcement is much better than his “The Decision”-esque melodrama of last year in which he released an excruciating TV special that documented his “will I stay or will I go to Barcelona” decision-making process, which did little more than anger the fan bases both of Atlético and Barça.
Like last summer, Barcelona seem to be the overwhelming favorites to land the 28-year-old World Cup champion. The Catalan club has been after him for a while now, presumably both as a complement to its current Lionel Messi-Luis Suárez-Ousmane Dembélé forward line and as a short-to-medium-term replacement for the aging Suárez. Manchester United have also shown interest in the Frenchman in previous years, and other clubs will likely throw their name into the ring for his services, particularly given how relatively cheap he will be.
With a release clause reported to be around €120 million, Griezmann is as affordable as a top attacking option can be in 2019. Though his game isn’t a perfect fit as a solo striker or as a traditional winger, teams that bend their styles to best serve him would get an elite goalscorer who works extremely hard in attack and defense, and can do shit like this. His exceptional and varied skills just about make up for his infuriating Fortnite celebration.