Atletico Madrid’s supposed 17/18 season kits have leaked, but we at AtléticoFans.com still want to address Antoine Griezmann’s recent comments (or backtracking) and his new deal that extended from 2021 to 2022.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) June 13, 2017
Amid the news of the deal and the confirmation, the French superstar took advantage of the deal to release an apologizing statement on the club’s official website:
“The first thing that I want to do is apologize to the people who misunderstood my statements. Maybe I expressed myself badly or someone wanted to make news where there weren’t any, but since I came, I have given my all for my club, my teammates, and my coaching staff, and I’m very happy to live one more season with all of you.”
This new deal and recent comments didn’t mark the end of Manchester United’s high-profile interest; in fact, it was the Court of Arbitration’s decision to reject Atletico’s transfer ban appeal that seemingly squashed the deal’s momentum.
The deal didn’t just impact Atletico Madrid’s summer recruitment plans; it seems to have influenced Griezmann’s decision to leave the club amid their inability to find a replacement due to the ban.
Back in May, on the same day the transfer ban appeal was rejected, Griezmann took to Twitter to show his commitment toward Los Rojiblancos. Obviously, the timing of the tweet was not coincidental:
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) June 1, 2017
Nevertheless, here we are now. #Griezmann2022 happened. It is happening. We can credit his ability to sympathize with Atleti’s unfortunate recruitment halt and the ban itself. Given his remarks to Telefoot earlier this month, it is obvious his decision to stay was due to new circumstances and not out of his pure love and loyalty for the club, per Bleacher Report:
Antoine Griezmann says Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban has helped him make up his mind. pic.twitter.com/LCS4S3U2B0
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 4, 2017
And that is okay.
Personally, as someone who has watched Griezmann grow into a complete player as a central striker, No.10, and as a half-space roamer, it didn’t bother me that the former Real Sociedad man wanted to try new challenges with a bigger club and a coach who is a proven winner. No disrespect to Diego Simeone, our hero, but if I was Griezmann, the prospect of Jose Mourinho on the touchline for a final seems more like a guaranteed celebration than our Argentine gaffer.
These tempting matters aside, despite the new deal, Griezmann still has evoked doubters regarding recent comments. It is still widely believed he will not stay long term and will definitely go to Manchester United next summer when Atleti is able to conduct recruitment business.
— Carlo Valladares (@C_V_News) June 14, 2017
Cadena Cope reporting Griezmann will extend his contract to 2022. Salary goes up, clause stays the same, and next year he'll get his move pic.twitter.com/GUITUOq5mS
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) June 12, 2017
Some Atletico fans will be salty, some Atletico fans may not give him the same praise for the upcoming 17/18 season, but as I have told others and continue to tell them – Simeone staying (hopefully for longer than Griezmann) is a true reason to be happy, even more so than our French superstar. Regardless of who leaves, Simeone is the guy that is the true difference maker. Not Griezmann.
Obviously, be happy we have both for next season but never think we’re hopeless to find goals when Griezmann does leave. No, we have one of the best coaches in the world that is great at finding a way.