Antoine Griezmann admits he 'deserved' a hostile reception on his return to Atletico Madrid having caused 'a lot of damage to the fans' by moving to Barcelona
- Antoine Griezmann was booed after returning to Atletico Madrid on loan in 2021
- The French star has admitted the nature of his move to Barcelona damaged fans
- Griezmann had angered fans with documentary on his decision to leave the club
Antoine Griezmann has admitted he deserved to be jeered by Atletico Madrid fans when he rejoined the club in 2021, after acknowledging he had caused 'a lot of damage' by moving to Barcelona.
Griezmann's joined Barcelona in 2019 in a £108million move, with Atletico fans having been angered over the French forward's behaviour in the build-up to the switch.
The transfer came a year after Griezmann had recorded a documentary titled 'La Decision', in which he pledged his future to the club and rejected Barcelona.
Griezmann returned to Atletico on an initial loan deal in 2021, before signing permanently last October for £21million.
Fans had made their feelings known to Griezmann on his return, with the star having been booed in his first match back at the Metropolitano Stadium.
Antoine Griezmann was booed by supporters on his return to Atletico Madrid back in 2021
Fans had been angered by Griezmann's behaviour prior to his move to Barcelona in 2019
Griezmann told Movistar he could understand the reaction from fans, with the forward claiming he has tried to rebuild their relationship since rejoining.
'I had done a lot of damage to the fans,' Griezmann said. 'They gave me everything and in the end I left because that's what I wanted, what I needed.
'I as a fan would also have been very angry. It's what I deserved.'
'I became very humble and I worked to try to change that.
'Those who know me know that I need this relationship with the fans, I need their love, his support to perform at the highest level'.
Griezmann scored 35 goals for Barcelona after joining the club, but struggled to hold down a regular starting birth.
The 31-year-old had said he only wanted to return to Atletico upon leaving the Nou Camp.
The initial loan could have seen Atletico be liable to pay Barcelona a £35million fee for the Frenchman, if he had played in 45 minutes or more in 80 per cent of the matches for which he was available over the two-year period.
Griezmann has claimed he has tried to rebuild his relationship with Atletico Madrid supporters
The French forward is the third highest goalscorer in Atletico Madrid's history
This led to Griezmann being restricted to 30-minute cameos from the bench in the early part of this season, before a permanent transfer was agreed by the two clubs.
Griezmann had asked Atletico's fans for forgiveness after signing a contract until 2026.
He has scored 149 goals in 326 games for the club across his two spells, placing him third on Atletico’s all-time list.
Luis Aragones and Adrian Escudero remain ahead of the Frenchman having scored 172 and 169 goals respectively for the club.
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