“It's hard to say no to clubs like Barça, but, really, I'm fine here"
L'Equipe Magazine has spoken to the French striker about his decision to stay at Atlético and his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or.
L’Equipe Magazine has conducted a joint interview with Atlético Madrid’s three World Cup winners – Thomas Lemar, Lucas Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann – ahead of France’s Uefa Nations League clash with Holland on Sunday. And aside from focusing on the national team, Griezmann and Lucas also took the time to discuss their club situation and Griezmann’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.
Griezmann opened up about his decision to renew his contract with Los Colchoneros this summer, despite the fact that Barcelona were keen to sing him and were willing to pay his €100 million release clause.
"When they give you love at home, you don’t go anywhere else. The club did everything possible to make me feel good, including the efforts to recruit important players and form a great team,” he said. “It's hard to say no to clubs like Barça, but, really, I'm fine here. It's my home and I want to do something big.”
About his future, Griezmann reiterated his desire to finish his career in the U.S. "I want to finish in the MLS, then we will see if it will be in Los Angeles or Miami. They are two good cities. I like their mentality and the showbiz culture.”
On the possibility of winning the Ballon d’Or, the striker said: “We know Messi and Cristiano will be there. From the round of 16 of the Europa League to the quarter finals of the World Cup, I think I was an important player. I have always been present at key moments, so this I year I think I am in with a small shout.”
His club and country team-mate, Lucas also backed him for the coveted individual award. “Two years ago, Antoine didn’t win the Ballon d’Or because he lost the Champions League final and the European Championship against Cristiano,” he said.
“This year he led us to win a Europa League, and had a great match in the final. And after that, he won the World Cup. He's a key player, a leader, and this year, it's clearer than clear, the number one candidate is Antoine Griezmann."