Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has declared that Los Colchoneros will almost certainly be his final destination in European football. The 32-year-old returned to the club two seasons ago, and has gradually become their most important player again, winning over the Metropolitano, and plenty of games in the process.
Griezmann has a deal until 2026, which would take him to the age of 35, but has mentioned on various occasions that he would like to discuss a new deal with the club, albeit in a joking manner. There was some truth to it though.
“Yes, that’s what I said,” he told Diario AS.
“I know that the club is in favour of being able to make an effort and we will talk about it. Beyond Europe, what I would like later is the MLS, I have always recognised that. But Atletico will be almost one hundred percent my last club in Europe. It’s where I want to be, where I see myself happiest and here I am at home.”
The Frenchman admitted that this is the happiest he has been in his career.
“Yes. I was also happy in the first stage here at Atleti. I think I’m happy now, but on top of that I really realise that I’m happy. Then you enjoy it more and have more fun, because in the first stage I didn’t realise how happy I was.”
And that his spell in Barcelona helped him to realise how much he enjoyed being at Atletico Madrid.
“Yes, it’s true. When you leave you realise it more. You are happy here, but you don’t realise it and you live your day to day life. When you leave and go through a bad stage you realise what it was, what happened and you try to return to that affection, that level and now I wake up every morning and enjoy everything: going to the Hill to train, wearing this badge, being with my teammates, being with this coach… and my family are also very happy here.”
Griezmann has been the star of the show this season for Los Rojiblancos, and if they are on the edge of the title race, it is in no small part down to him. It will be interesting to see how Atletico approach the renewal. According to recent reports, Griezmann feels he has earned a rise afer taking two salary cuts to help the club out, but Los Colchoneros have been driving a hard line that they want to reduce their wage bill. Manager Diego Simeone has also reduced his salary with his new deal, but neither can Los Colchoneros afford to lose Griezmann now.