The LaLiga champions’ lawyers paid Griezmann’s £108million release clause earlier this week and his long-awaited move to Camp Nou is finally done
Antoine Griezmann has joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid after the LaLiga champions paid his £108million release clause.
In a statement released on Friday afternoon, Barcelona announced they had bought Griezmann out of his Atletico Madrid contract, with the France forward signing a five-year contract at Camp Nou.
His deal with Barca includes a £718million (€800m) release clause.
“The player will sign a contract with his new club for the next five seasons, through to 30 June 2024, with a buyout clause of 800 million euros.
“We will shortly be publishing the full schedule for the presentation of Antoine Griezmann as a new member of the Barça first team.”
Griezmann’s departure after five seasons with Atletico has infuriated the Madrid club, and they are disputing the size of the fee.
Atletico believe Barcelona made an illegal approach to Griezmann and agreed a deal before before his buyout clause dropped from £179million (€200million) to £108million on July 1.
A statement from the club read: “Antoine Griezmann, represented by his lawyer, has appeared at the headquarters of the Professional Football League to unilaterally terminate the contract linking the player with Atlético Madrid, with Fútbol Club Barcelona having deposited the sum of €120million euros in the name and on behalf of the footballer.
“Atlético Madrid considers that the amount deposited is insufficient to meet its termination clause, since it is obvious that the commitment of the player and FC Barcelona was closed before the clause was reduced from €200million euros to €120million.
“It was also prior to the date on which the clause was amended the communication that the player made on 14 May announcing his disassociation from the club.
“Atlético Madrid believes that the termination of the contract took place before the end of last season for facts, acts and demonstrations made by the player and therefore has already initiated the procedures it has considered appropriate for the defence of their rights and legitimate interests.”
Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona
The 28-year-old, born in Macon, France, began his career with Real Sociedad in Spain’s Segunda Division, and his fine performances in his debut season helped the Basque club win promotion to LaLiga.
He quickly proved himself in the top flight, and over the next four years came to the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Griezmann truly found stardom in 2013/14; he scored 16 league goals and also helped France reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, before sealing a €30million move to reigning LaLiga champions Atleti.
During his time playing under Diego Simeone, Griezmann has won the Europa League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana – and also reached a Champions League final.
He played 257 games for the Madrid club, scoring 133 goals.
Griezmann has also netted 29 times on the international stage, with 72 caps won for France. He was a key player as Les Bleus won the World Cup last summer.