The French star striker Antoine Griezmann is full of energy after his long awaited move from Atlético Madrid to FC Barcelona.
"I am very happy, full of hope and looking forward to working with the team," said the 28-year-old in a first interview with the club's own channel Barça-TV. «The goal is to win everything: the cup, the championship and the Champions League.» In a video message Griezmann declared in Catalan: «Hello fans! I am already here. Long live Barça! »The World Champion is scheduled to sign his contract today and then be officially presented in Barcelona.
After weeks of wrangling over the pro, the Catalans had officially made the transfer on July 12th. Griezmann receives a five-year contract until 2024, in which a transfer fee of 800 million euros is set. That's more than a change of Barcelona superstar Leo Messis would cost (700 million euros).
Griezmann had already targeted a change to Barcelona in 2018, but canceled it at the last minute. Messi and other players are therefore still upset, said the newspaper "Marca". The 32-year-old initially showed no reaction to the new signing. Griezmann, however, can hardly wait to cooperate with the top scorer from Argentina. He said that it was an "incredible pleasure" to be able to play at Messi's side and see him training. The next match of FC Barcelona will take place on 23 July as part of the "Rakuten Cup" in Japan, when the team of German goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen meets Chelsea.
The announcement of the change had sparked enthusiasm in Catalonia. "Ahora sí!" (Now yes!) Headlined the clubnahe newspaper "Sport" in large letters next to a picture of Griezmann in the jersey of Azulgrana. "Griezmann finally obliged!" Cheered also in Barcelona resident sheet "Mundo Deportivo". The club posted on Twitter a photo of Griezmann in the Barcelona jersey with the addition "C'est magnifique!" (That's wonderful!).
Atlético, on the other hand, protested shortly after the announcement against the transfer. The amount of 120 million euros is not enough to solve the 2023 ongoing contract in Madrid, it said. The capital club said that Griezmann and Barça had agreed months ago on the change when the clause was still 200 million euros. This had fallen on 1 July to 120 million euros. "The club issued this statement because there is evidence," said President Enrique Cerezo.
Atlético wants to complain to a report of the newspaper "AS" according to the World Federation FIFA on the behavior of the league competitors. The Rojiblancos had already turned angrily to FIFA in 2017 because Barcelona should have contacted Griezmann single-handedly. From Barcelona there was initially no official reaction.