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Griezmann staying at Atletico, ends Barca speculation

AFP  |  Madrid 

French striker has announced he was staying put at in an eagerly awaited decision that ends intense speculation of a possible move to

"I've decided to stay," Griezmann told a Spanish pay per view channel 48 hours before he turns out for in their opener.

The 27-year-old was heavily wooed by but in the end he has elected to prolong his four year stay at the Spanish capital side.

Last month he scored twice in Atletico's 3-0 win over in the final.

It was Griezmann's first major title with after being in the side that lost on penalties to Real in final in 2016, having also lost to Real two years earlier.

He also lost the European Championship final with that same summer.

"I want to win wasn't hard luck, it was that we were missing something," he reflected.

His loyalty to has been rewarded with an increase in salary to 20 million euros a year, according to reports in the Spanish media, making him the best paid in the club's history.

For Barcelona, his decision to stay in will be hard to take, a year after the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. The Catalan giants were all set to meet his 100 million euro buyout clause.

Among those at who will be disappointed at his decision will be who last week hailed the compact No.9 as "a great player".

"Good players always have an understanding and he's at an exceptional moment in his career," Messi said of the who ended the season with a 29-goal haul.

Griezmann has spent his whole career in but had only previously won one

With his club future confirmed, Griezmann is now free to focus on the World Cup, with opening against in on Saturday.

Last month, Atletico attacked over their pursuit of Griezmann, saying he was "fed up" with the Catalan club's attitude.

"Not once have we negotiated for Griezmann nor do we have any intention to do so," he said.

"A few months ago, I personally expressed to Barcelona's that our isn't for sale nor are we going to sell him," he continued.

"At the same time, I let him know that his inappropriate conduct was against the integrity of the competition."

Marin added: "We're fed up with Barcelona's attitude.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 15 2018. 10:15 IST