The French attacker says he didn’t move clubs for success, but to try a different way of playing football
Antoine Griezmann insists he did not leave Atletico for success at Barcelona, revealing it was for stylistic reasons as his former club is capable of winning silverware also.
The 28-year-old headed to the Blaugrana after they forked out his €120m (£107m/$134m) release clause during the summer transfer window.
When asked if he moved to Barcelona to win trophies, Griezmann was adamant he departed the Spanish capital to play a different style of football, not for success.
“I did not leave Atlético to win the Champions League or win more titles,” Griezmann told UEFA.com
“I came here to Barça to learn a new style of play, a new philosophy and to grow on a personal level.
“Atlético can also win the La Liga and the Champions League, they have the team and the coach to do it.”
Under Diego Simeone, who has managed the club since 2011, Atletico won the 2013-14 La LIga title and finished runners up twice between 2017 and 2019.
They also lost in two Champions League finals while being managed by the Argentine, with Griezmann remembering the 2015-16 defeat to city rivals Real Madrid without much fondness.
The French attacker struck a penalty off the crossbar just after half-time, and despite Atletico equalising with 11 minutes to play, they couldn’t force a winner and ended up losing 5-3 on penalties – even though Griezmann converted the first spot-kick.
The World Cup winner revealed it was his biggest career regret and that he feels his mistake cost Atletico a chance at Champions League glory.
“I was very angry to have failed,” Griezmann said. “I think my failure was what made us lose the final.
“It will always hurt me, even if I win [the Champions League] with another club.
“It was my dream, the dream of the whole club and I had it in my feet. I can’t turn around, but I’m sure it will hurt me in ten or fifteen years.”
Griezmann has had a reasonable start to this Blaugrana career, scoring eight goals and creating four assists in 23 appearances.
Barcelona are currently two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, as the competition heads into its Christmas and New Year’s break.
Their next match will come in the league with a clash at Espanyol on January 4.