Griezmann didn’t fit at Barcelona, Laporta admits

Robin Bairner
  • Robin Bairner
  • Updated: September 7, 2021, 00:22 CEST
  • 3 min read
Antoine Griezmann is heading back to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona

Antoine Griezmann did not fit at Barcelona, club president Joan Laporta has admitted.

Griezmann arrived at the club in 2019 for €120 million from Atletico Madrid but struggled to enjoy the same impact as he had in the Spanish capital.

After two years at Camp Nou, during which he failed to find his best form, scoring only 35 goals in 102 games, he departed for Atleti on loan on Deadline Day.

Laporta has admitted that Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France in 2018, was a huge flop.

Discussing the shock deal that saw the Frenchman return to Wanda Metropolitano, the president told Onze: “There have been special circumstances. We all expected more but I didn’t see an attitude I could criticise.

“We all know what kind of player he is but I think that he does not fit in our system.

We all know what kind of player he is but I think that he does not fit in our system.
- Joan Laporta

“I’ve sent him a message wishing him personal and professional success. He always had the right attitude but he was not the player we needed.

“He scored goals, for example in the Copa del Rey that we won, and was a very important player.

“He could have given more but he experienced difficult circumstances.”

In attacking the signing of Griezmann, Laporta was again offering an assault on the previous regime on Josep Maria Bartomeu, which he has claimed squandered vast sums of money and got the club into massive debt that they are currently paying the price for now.

Griezmann likely to remain at Atleti

Laporta added that Griezmann is likely to remain at Atletico Madrid beyond the end of his one-year loan deal.

“The compulsory purchase option has only one condition: that he plays 50% of the games that are available,” he explained.

Should Griezmann make his transfer to Atletico Madrid permanent from Barcelona, he will cost the capital club only €40m – a fraction of a price that the Catalans paid for him just a couple of years ago.