The summary reveals the most ruinous operation in the history of Barça. Antoine Griezmann He has played two years in the Camp Nou The cost of his signing was 135 million euros. Atlético de Madrid, who was the one who transferred him in the summer of 2019, will now acquire his property rights for 20 million after paying 10 million last year for his transfer. He lost two seasons to the French player, but it was worth it. You now have your rights until 2027 and has made a profit of 105 million euros. Incredible but true.
Either Atlético has played its cards very well in the Griezmann case or Barcelona committed in times of Bartomeu a dispatch error that will go down in the annals of the museum of horrors. The very low performance of the Frenchman at the Camp Nou, together with a stratospheric salary of 95 million euros gross from 2019 to 2024, that could be fired up to almost double depending on targets, they have forced Laporta and Alemany to accept the conditions that Gil Marín has put on the table because in case of not doing so, the consequences were even worse: the player’s return to complete the year that still remained on his contract broke the delicate balance on which the Barça economy moves since for the 23-24 season he had signed a minimum of 21 million euros that increased significantly in the form of bonuses.
Atlético de Madrid has been without any doubt the absolute winner in this history. In 2018, before the World Cup in Russia, he renewed his contract for 36 million euros gross per year, which left the footballer with a profit of just over 17 net. A fortune that, if it had been maintained, he would have hopelessly mortgaged the club.
Luckily, Barcelona appeared, which the previous year had tried to sign him in vain, but now it was successful. Griezmann succumbed to the temptation to play alongside Messi and accepted a substantial salary cut. He received 5 million euros as a signing bonus and signed a contract for five seasons, confident that the sporting successes would translate into bonuses that would allow him to compensate for the money lost at Atlético.
Bartomeu, who presented the player with Eric Abidaldeposited in the League the Griezmann’s termination clause, which was 120 million eurosbut Atlético immediately announced that it was preparing a lawsuit because it had evidence that showed that Barcelona had negotiated with the French during the season, Therefore, the clause was 200 million, the amount stipulated for the striker to leave the Metropolitan before June 30, 2019, the date on which the price was reduced by 80 million euros. In the end there was an agreement between the club and Barcelona agreed to pay 15 million more. The operation, in total, came out for 135 million euros.
Atlético invested 126 of those millions in signing João Félix and, apparently, closed Griezmann’s cycle at the club. However, football takes many turns and from the beginning it became clear that the Frenchman felt uncomfortable at Barcelona, obscured by Messi’s wake. Step from starter to substitute, he was losing more and more prominence and also the team only won one Copa del Rey during the world champion’s two years of permanence. Consequently, this translated into not enter a good part of the generous bonuses that he had signed by objectivesand that was what allowed him to equal or even improve the salary he had in Madrid.
A compulsory discount
Little by little the paths of Griezmann and Atlético converged again hand in hand with Diego Pablo Simeone, devoted defender of the French. The Argentine came to the club one day and explained to Gil Marín that Antoine wanted to return. The CEO was not enthusiastic about the idea, but Cholo has control in place. It was Griezmann yes or yes.
The first attempt was to try to formulate a barter with Saúlbut Mateu Alemany He refused the deal, convinced that the man from Elche would never be the same as before. Events show that, at least for now, he has not been wrong. The operation seemed to die in some drawer of the Camp Nou but, surprisingly, trading resumed on the last market day because Barcelona realized that it was the only way to square accounts. Either that, or ruin.
The deal was simple: assignment for two years, at 10 million the first and 40 mandatory purchase at the end of the second if the player played 50% of the matches. A clause that seemed simple, but that actually hid a trap that has managed to put Barcelona between a rock and a hard place.
Atlético’s second success was to convince Griezmann to accept a reduction in his salary. The situation had changed and the club, which had just faced the largest capital increase in its history, was not in a position to face a salary of more than 20 million euros per season. The French, regretting having left for Barcelona and anxious to shelter under Simeone’s arms again, he immediately said yes.
The first season of Antoine in his second rojiblanca stage it was not good. He scored against Rayo Majadahonda in January, in the Copa del Rey, and he did not do it once more in the five months that remained to complete the course. He also suffered a real ordeal with injuries, including several relapses, something unusual for him. Soon Cholo was left alone defending him. At the club they were more in favor of looking for a way out, either returning him to Barcelona or looking for a transfer outside, but the coach stood firm again and demanded the continuity of the Frenchman.
Gil Marin, who he knows that with Simeone he can only reach certain limits, He ended up accepting the wishes of his coach, but in return he imposed leonine conditions. The club had not been able to transfer a single player, so the financial situation was desperate. Paying 40 million for Griezmann was unfeasible. Keep his salary too. A solution had to be found.
Examined the last line of the player’s transfer contract, Atlético imposed on their coach that he used only what was necessary so that he would not have to disburse 40 million that he did not have. Consequently, he could only play 15 games as a starter. In the rest of the matches he had to step on the field after 60 minutes so that he did not count. A trick that Barcelona caught immediately riding in angerbut against which he has not been able to do anything.
The final act will be dramatized very soon because the agreement is already firm. Atlético pays half of the 40 million and the player accepts a new reduction in his contract in exchange for signing a new commitment with the club that will withdraw him from active football dressed as a rojiblanco, when in 2027 he has already turned 36 years old. As happened when he betrayed Simeone in 2019, a series of bonuses have been included that will allow him to earn much more, but as long as individual and collective objectives are met. Namely, what will be a success for Atlético will also be for Griezmann.
In 2018, when he renewed for Atlético de Madrid, he had signed an annual contract of 36 million euros gross. From now on he will be 10. 26 have been left on the road. Barça have also missed 105 in the operation. He has lost 52.5 in each of the two years in which the Frenchman has remained at the Camp Nou and that, of course, without counting his salary. There is only one winner here and that is Gil Marín. We are, possibly, facing the most ruinous economic operation in the history of Barça and the most successful in that of Atlético. Question of perspective.