The strange case of Griezmann’s 2022/23 season
The loan of Antonio Griezmann from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid is about to take on a whole different layer of complexity with the Catalan club ready to sue their counterparts in Madrid over their management of the player’s minutes.
The saga stems from the terms of the loan agreement, with Barcelona stipulating that Atletico Madrid were obligated to buy the player permanently if he featured for more than 50 percent of minutes he was available for during his first season on loan. Griezmann played for over 80pc of those.
According to several reports, including those from COPE and Radio MARCA, the Madrid-based club believe that the stated 50pc included both seasons, with club coach Diego Simeone now utilising the player only from the 60th minute onward in order to save the club the 40 million euros they would otherwise owe Barcelona.
This tactic has led Barcelona to threaten legal action against Atletico Madrid, with the clubs now locked into an intense dispute.
Griezmann accepts his role
Despite being a World Cup winner and a starter for the entirety of his career, Griezmann has accepted his role and is making the most of his minutes as an impact substitute.
The forward has scored three goals in five substitute appearances including a stoppage-time winner against Porto when the sides met in this past week’s Champions League group games.
Griezmann also enjoys a fantastic relationship with Atletico Madrid boss Simeone, despite being forced to sit on the bench for a majority of the games this season.