Published:  12:40 AM, 16 May 2019

Griezmann to leave Atletico

Griezmann to leave Atletico

France striker Antoine Griezmann will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season, the player said in a video released on the club's official Twitter account on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old did not reveal where he would be playing next but widespread reports in the Spanish media said he would be joining Barcelona, who he famously rejected last year before penning a new contract with Atletico until 2023.

World Cup winner Griezmann, who signed a new five-year contract last June, said he had told Atletico coach Diego Simeone and chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin of his decision and addressed the supporters in the video message.

"After speaking to Simeone and Miguel Angel and the club hierarchy I wanted to immediately tell you, the Atletico fans who have always given me a lot of love that I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges," he said. "The truth is it has been difficult to arrive to this point but I feel it's what I need to do, I want to thank you for all the support you have given me in these five years, where I won my first trophies."

Griezmann rejected an offer from Barca last June, documenting his internal struggles about whether to make the move in a landmark documentary called 'The Decision', produced by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique's Kosmos production company.

The last contract he signed initially raised his release clause to 200 million euros ($224.06 million) but several media reports say that figure will drop to 120 million on July 1.


-Reuters, Madrid

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