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Griezmann: Turning Down Barcelona Was Difficult
World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann admits it was “Very difficult” to turn down Barcelona and stay at the Wendo Metropolitano in the summer but says the support he received at Atletico Madrid helped persuade him to stay.
The France international was heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou but revealed he had decided to remain at Atletico by releasing a video on the eve of the World Cup.
The 27-year-old had agonised for some time over the decision, with Barca reportedly willing to pay his €100 million (£89m/$116m) release clause to bring him to Catalunya.
Now the forward has revealed just how tough the decision was and how persistent Barca were in their pursuit of him.
“Hard to refuse Barca? It’s very difficult,” he told Canal Plus. “You have Barca who want you, who calls you, who sends messages.
“But then there is the club where you are, where you are an important player and where they build a project around you.
“What tipped the scales? To see my teammates and especially the coach after a game where I was whistled, he came home by surprise to calm me down and talk with me and show that I had his confidence.”