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    ‘My homage to the fans,’ says Griezmann after signing Atletico contract

    MADRID (AFP) – Antoine Griezmann on Monday welcomed the confirmation that his loan from Barcelona had become a permanent move as he signed a contract with Atletico Madrid until 2026.

    The striker has been back at the Metropolitano since arriving on loan in August 2021 after a difficult spell at Camp Nou, following his EUR120 million (USD116.5 million) move from Atletico in 2019.

    “I’m very happy because it’s what I wanted since I returned,” Griezmann said in a video published by Atletico on their social networks.

    “To stay at Atletico, enjoy being at the club, with the coach, my team-mates, the stadium, the fans, I did everything possible to stay here.

    “When I saw there was the chance to stay for many years, I spoke with the club. I knew what they wanted from me, I didn’t think much. I didn’t care what I had to do. The one thing I wanted was to stay here.”

    Atletico Madrid’s Mario Hermoso, Antoine Griezmann and Angel Correa attend a training session. PHOTO: AFP

    Reports in Spain say the 31-year-old agreed to reduce the salary he was earning at Barcelona to make his stay permanent.

    “I will give everything for my club, the trust of the coach, the fans, Atletico,” continued Griezmann. “I’ll give everything for the badge. I could miss chances, or passes, but I will give everything until the last second, as much as I can. I want that to be seen and felt.

    “The fans make the effort of having their season ticket, of coming, of supporting us from the stands. This is my homage to the fans.”

    The 2018 World Cup winner was a key figure in coach Diego Simeone’s plans last season but has largely been reduced to substitute appearances in the current campaign as Atletico tried to escape paying a reported EUR40 million purchase fee if he played over a certain number of games.

    With the World Cup approaching and Griezmann keen to feature more, Atletico and Barcelona negotiated a new deal, with Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirming the fee during the club’s members assembly on Sunday.

    “It is for EUR20 million plus four more in variables,” said Laporta.

    “There is another clause in the deal to sell the player, which is that if Atletico decide to sell him in the future they will have to pay us the difference that remains, up to the value of the 40 million which was agreed before.”

    Atletico did not disclose the value of the new agreement.

    Griezmann has played 303 times for the club, scoring 144 goals, across his two stints in the capital.

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