griezmann joins atletico exodus

17:00    15 May 2019

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann (L) and his teammate Koke
The 28-year-old on Tuesday announced that he will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season, despite signing an improved five-year contract last June.

Griezmann was heavily linked with a move away from the club ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, which he won with France, but decided to stay in Spain's capital.

A year later, Griezmann revealed that Saturday's LaLiga match against Levante will be his last for the Spanish side, with reports suggesting he will join rivals Barcelona.

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Barcelona will reportedly pay Griezmann's buyout clause, ending his five-year stay at Atletico, that conjured 133 goals in 256 appearances, and three trophies.

"It's been an incredible five years. Thank you for everything," he said.

"I wanted to tell the fans who have always given me a lot of love that I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges.

"The truth is it has been difficult to take this route but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years."

Griezmann joins Bayern Munich-bound Lucas Hernandez and long-serving captain Diego Godin in leaving the club after the current campaign.

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