Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Barcelona announce signing of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid

The French forward transfer saga is over as Barca meets €120 million buyout clause

Antoine Griezmann has signed for Barcelona for €120 million - making him the sixth most expensive footballer. AP Photo
Antoine Griezmann has signed for Barcelona for €120 million - making him the sixth most expensive footballer. AP Photo

One of the big transfer sagas of the summer is over with Barcelona announcing the signing of French forward Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

The La Liga champions reached a deal with their Spanish rivals after meeting the €120 million buyout clause.

Griezmann, who won the World Cup with France in 2018, has signed a five-year deal which includes a staggering €800m release clause. The 28-year-old scored 133 goals in 256 appearances at Atletico.

The €120m price tag makes Griezmann the sixth most expensive player in football history after Ousmane Dembele, Joao Felix, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Neymar.

Friday's announcement brings to an end a dispute between Atletico, Barcelona and Griezmann, who had long aimed to move to the Catalan giants.

The 28-year-old failed to show up for his side's pre-season gathering on Sunday after he had announced in May he would be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano, even though he could not reveal his destination until his release clause dropped from 200 million euros to 120 million euros at the start of the month.

Last week Atletico accused Barcelona and Griezmann of a "lack of respect" after the Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed the two clubs had held talks about the former Real Sociedad forward.

Atletico also claimed that Griezmann had told the club that he had struck a deal with Barcelona in March, just days before the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus, which saw them dumped out by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick after winning the first leg 2-0 in Madrid.

Griezmann joined Atletico in 2014, lifting the Europa League in 2018.

He won the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 when France were beaten in the final on home soil by Portugal before helping to guide his team to World Cup triumph in Russia last year.

Updated: July 12, 2019 08:51 PM

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