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Antoine Griezmann is hoping to see the rest of his career with Atletico Madrid after admitting that his deal with Barcelona did not go as he had hoped.
The French national team player returned to Atletico in August on a first loan deal with a purchase obligation after spending just two years at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona spent € 120 million to sign Griezmann from LaLiga rivals Atleti in 2019, but the 30-year-old never managed to regain his best form in Catalonia.
He played 102 games for Barca in all competitions – six more than any other player during his time at the club – and was directly involved in 51 goals.
Only Lionel Messi (106), who himself traveled to Paris Saint-Germain in the last transfer window, scored and assisted several goals for Barca during that period.
However, it was at Atletico where Griezmann had the most productive period of his career as he scored 133 goals in 257 matches between 2014 and 2019.
The Real Sociedad academy product has scored eight goals and assisted two more in 19 games since returning to Wanda Metropolitano – no Atleti player has been involved in multiple goals.
When he plays where he feels most comfortable, Griezmann sees no reason to move away from the Spanish capital for the second time.
“The truth is that I performed well in Real Sociedad, so I grew athletically and also privately at Atleti, with my wife, with my children … It helps you to be more relaxed and enjoy everything,” he told Transfermarkt.
“Then I went to Barcelona. Due to the circumstances it did not go as well as I had hoped. That is why I would return to play for Cholo [Diego Simeone] and Atleti again.
“That was what I wanted most, and the truth is, I really enjoy it here, and I hope I can continue like this.
“I hope Atleti wants me as long as I can keep up with the pace of the games and the required level and that we can write another beautiful story.”
Griezmann has previously been linked with a number of European heavyweights, including Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, but he has not considered a move to Germany.
“I never thought about it, because since my time at Real Sociedad, I have always felt comfortable where I was, and in the end, I feel most comfortable and happy here at Atleti now,” he said. “I do not want to move again.”
This week it is 10 years since Simeone took charge of his first Atletico match and no player has scored more goals under the Argentine coach.
In fact, Griezmann’s 141 goals are the fourth most in Athletic’s history, and the striker credits Simeone for getting the most out of him.
Asked which of the coaches he has worked under has impressed him the most, Griezmann said: “I would say it’s Cholo. I think he’s the coach who knows me best.
“I have an incredible relationship with him, and also on a sporting level he has always fought with the best, in the Spanish league or in Europe. He has taken the club to the highest possible level. “