Barcelona The opinion of Hugo Cerezo

Antoine Griezmann greeting Lionel Messi at the Estadio Wanda...
Antoine Griezmann greeting Lionel Messi at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. Alberto NevadoMARCA

It’s taken longer than expected, but Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barcelona player. The Catalan side had to wait 12 months and pay 20 million euros more than they would have done last summer, when they were rejected by the Frenchman, yet there is no denying the fact that Barcelona have signed a fantastic player.

In fact, many at the club had been anticipating his arrival last summer. When Philippe Coutinho joined in January 2018, he was not allowed to have the No.7 shirt as it was reserved for Griezmann. Now, not only does the forward not have that number available but he will have to mend a lot of fences upon his arrival. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and co all sung his praises prior to ‘The Decision’, and the same can be said for the Bluagrana‘s supporters, but they were all let down by the former Atletico Madrid star; Griezmann will have to earn their trust and admiration. It is not an ideal situation for the 28-year-old, but ultimately he is one of the best players in the world and so long as he displays his quality at the Camp Nou, as well as working hard, he will quickly earn their respect.

For the time being, Barcelona have taken the best player, top goalscorer and highest assist provider from LaLiga Santander‘s second-placed team from last season. They have also signed a world champion who was on the Ballon d’Or podium ahead of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric (also in 2016 behind Cristiano and Messi). A multifaceted forward who developed greatly under Diego Simeone, there is no doubt that he will mesh with Messi (left handed people speak the same language), and Griezmann has a desire to win, too, despite having a World Cup medal around his neck. Immediately, 20 goals are added to the figures put up by Messi (40) and Luis Suarez (20).

Griezmann, 28, will look for what he was unable to achieve with Los Rojiblancos: winning LaLiga Santander and the Champions League. He tasted success during his career (the World Cup with France, and the Europa League and European Super Cup with Atletico), and has come close on other occasions (his missed penalty in the Champions League final at San Siro, the Euro 2016 final against Portugal, and his resignation away to Juventus in last year’s Champions League). Griezmann has the biggest challenge of his career ahead of him, which will require him to perform exceptionally as he looks to stand out at Barcelona. His dream has been to eat at the same table as Messi and Cristiano after all. Even if Barcelona bring in Neymar, which is possible but unlikely, do not forget that Griezmann is a fantastic signing for Barcelona.


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