Antoine Griezmann has accepted that he’s limited to playing 30 minutes a match this season due to Atletico Madrid wanting to avoid triggering a clause that would force them to pay Barcelona €40m.
The Frenchman has come off the bench around 30 minutes before the end of every match so far this season, and that’s not a coincidence.
If he plays any more than that, a clause would be triggered that would force Atletico Madrid to pay Barcelona, his parent club, €40m to sign him permanently. They don’t want to do so as he’ll be available to sign on a free transfer come the end of the season.
As a result, he’s likely to be starting matches on the bench until then. Nevertheless, he’s still managing to make an impact, scoring two late winners recently, and has come to terms with his situation.
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“It is what it is, it’s out of my hands,” he told the press after scoring the winner against Porto in their Champions League opener.
“[I’m] grateful to God for being here. My family is happy, I of course want more, but I am going to give everything I have in the minutes I have.”
“I feel like a man of the club, I am happy here and I only want to play here and give everything for the club, for Cholo and for the fans.”
Diego Simeone danced around a question about the matter himself, not confirming the reason why Griezmann is coming off the bench at the same time in every match.
“We can see the reality and it is that in 30 minutes he is doing very well. We don’t know in 60. We look at realities,” said the manager.