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Griezmann: It Was Difficult to Turn Down Barca

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Antoine Griezmann said it was “Very difficult” to turn down Barcelona during the summer transfer window but says the support he received at Atletico Madrid helped persuade him to stay.

The France international was seriously linked with a move to the Barcelona but revealed he had decided to remain at Atletico by going live on YouTube on the eve of the World Cup.

The 27-year-old had agonized for some time over the decision, with Barca reportedly willing to pay his €100 million (£89m/$116m) release clause to bring him to Catalunya.

Now the winger has revealed just how tough the decision was and how persistent Barca were in their pursuit of signing him.

"Hard to refuse Barca? It’s very difficult,” he told Canal Plus. “You have Barca who want you, who calls you, who sends messages.

“But then there is the club where you are, where you are an important player and where they build a project around you.

“What tipped the scales? To see my teammates and especially the coach after a game where I was whistled, he came home by surprise to calm me down and talk with me and show that I had his confidence.”

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