Friday 9/17/21
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Griezmann makes shock Atletico Madrid return from Barcelona

He has never managed to recapture his best form at Camp Nou
15 August 2021, Spain, Barcelona: Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann (R) and Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi battle for the ball during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou Stadium. Photo: -/LaPresse via ZUMA Press/dpa
Antoine Griezmann (R) and Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi battle for the ball during the match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou Stadium. Photo: LaPresse/dpa.

Antoine Griezmann has rejoined Atletico Madrid from Barcelona on loan, just two years after leaving the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atleti sold France striker Griezmann to Barca for 120 million euros (140 million dollars) in 2019, yet he has never managed to recapture his best form at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi's departure to Paris Saint-Germain earlier in August might have given Griezmann the opportunity to take centre stage, but the 30-year-old received flak from the Barca fans as Ronald Koeman's side - inspired by Memphis Depay - laboured to a win over Getafe last weekend.

Koeman defended Griezmann, saying: "I don't like it when a Barca player is whistled. Someone who works like Antoine can never be criticised.

"All the attackers can have their day but there are games where you can't find the space. We haven't created opportunities for him either."

However, LaLiga champions Atleti - who were linked with their former talisman last month - have now brought Griezmann back to the Spanish capital.

Transfer clause

Griezmann has signed on loan for 2021-22, with the deal including the option for either club to extend it for a further year. Barca also announced there is a compulsory permanent transfer clause.

While his exit will go towards easing Barca's financial difficulties, Atleti are bolstering an attack that already features Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Angel Correa, as well as another new recruit in Matheus Cunha.

Atleti president Enrique Cerezo suggested last month that fans would not forgive Griezmann for how he left for Barca, who had reportedly been open to offers for the forward for some time, potentially allowing them to retain Messi.

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