In an interview with Canal Plus, the Atletico Madrid talisman revealed all the details about his refusal to join Barcelona last summer.
Antoine Griezmann had been linked to the Blaugrana for quite some time but last summer, the 27-year old rejected a move to the Camp Nou and the reasons behind the rejection were still not clear up to today.
“Hard to refuse Barca? It’s very difficult. You have Barca who want you, who calls you, who sends messages.” said the 2018 World Champion.
He also emphasised the fact that his Atleti teammates did everything they could to convince him to stay at the club.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) November 19, 2018
One of the reasons for not joining the Spanish champions, as revealed by the striker himself, was that of being constantly in Lionel Messi’s shadow.
“Unconsciously, being Messi’s lieutenant may have played a part. But my teammates and club people did everything, they came to talk to me, increased my salary. They did everything to show that it was my house and that I shouldn’t leave.”
“It was really complicated times, especially for my wife where I woke her up at 3 a.m. to talk about it.”
What surely made a difference was the fact that Atletico Madrid put Griezmann at the centre of their project and the striker’s presence at the club is highly important.
The French superstar also remarked the fact that coach Diego Simeone also played a very important role in convincing him to stay at the club.
“What tipped the scales? To see my teammates and especially the coach after a game where I was whistled, he came home by surprise to calm me down and talk with me and show that I had his confidence.”
This season, Antoine Griezmann already has six goals in seventeen appearances and is expected to do his best at returning the Madrid side to the most prominent positions in the Spanish league and the Champions League.