French forward Antoine Griezmann could've been playing football with Lionel Messi in Barcelona or at Manchester United for a couple of seasons now but despite strong speculation, he decided to stay put at Atletico Madrid and chase titles both, domestic and European. It, however, has now been confirmed that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner will ply trade somewhere else next season, having made up his mind to leave Atletico.
Having emerged as a goalscoring winger at Real Sociedad, Griezmann joined Atletico in the summer of 2014 and has since gone on to score 133 goals in 252 games for the club. Having won the UEFA Europa League in the 2017–18 season, as well as the 2018 UEFA Super Cup and the 2014 Supercopa de España, the Frenchman will depart Wanda Metropolitano with three titles to his name and as one of the best players to have played for the club.
Atletico announced the news of Greizmann's departure on social media and the Frenchman also shared a video message for fans expressing how greatful he is for the five years he spent in Madrid.
"It's been an incredible five years here. Thanks for everything, from the bottom of my heart," Griezmann said in the video.
The 28-year-old, who has long been linked with a move to Barcelona, reportedly has a EUR 125 million release clause. Barca are said to be extremely interested in availing Griezmann's services and are ready to pay the release clause to bring him to Camp Nou this summer.
With the departure from Atletico now confirmed, Greizmann is expected to attract interest from several top European clubs including Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
The French superstar, who has expressed his desire to win the Ballon d'Or on numerous occasions, could be willing to go to a club where he could become an outright star and also challenge for the top honours on a regular basis.
While only time will tell where Greizmann will play football next season, he would expect a good farewell from Atletico staff, players and fans as he steps onto the pitch for the final time against Levante on Saturday.