Antoine Griezmann's potential return to Atlético Madrid

"If Griezmann comes back to Atleti, I'll tear up my season ticket," some of my Atlético friends have told me. It is a reaction to a certain attitude of provisionality that he had at Atlético, waiting for a better destination where he could win titles and sit at the top table with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. This was aggravated by the adolescent foolishness of Gerard Piqué's hand. Now there is a possibility that he could return to the Wanda Metropolitano, in exchange for Saúl Ñíguez. He has not fared well at Barça, at least not as he had hoped. And in his absence, Atlético have won LaLiga, just like back in 2013-14 and just before the Frenchman signed for the club. Two leagues without him, none with him.

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-ATM-JUV/Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Atletico Madrid v Juventus - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - February 20, 2019 Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann reacts to a missed chance REUTERS/Sergio Perez

But, if he does leave Barcelona, it will be a good deal for Atleti. He's a great forward, a great addition to a team where Luis Suárez lacks some company up front. He hasn't done well at Barça because he arrived against the grain, welcomed by Messi with suspicion. He would have preferred the club to sign his old friend Neymar instead. Unlike the stable Atleti he left, he found Barça in a right mess, with Bartomeu discredited, the 'pentacrat' headed by Messi running wild, spy stories and incomprehensible decisions about the coach for which no one wanted to take responsibility.

Atlético players return

He is not the first to leave Atlético in recent years and crash. Some even returned: Filipe Luis, Diego Costa and Yannick Carrasco. Others inevitably went downhill: João Miranda, Diego Godín, Thomas Partey, Arda Turan... So what happened to Griezmann is relatively normal. Diego Simeone pushes him to the limit, but within a model club and a healthy atmosphere. In any case, the fans would do better to look favourably on him if he returns. Repentance is God's will, they say. In his day he provided goals and when he left he left money. His little sin of youthful arrogance is venial.