Antoine Griezmann of Macon, France is returning to Atletico Madrid according to BBC on Wednesday. The 30-year-old forward originally played for Atletico from 2014 to 2019, before playing the last three seasons with FC Barcelona in La Liga action.
Griezmann had 94 goals in 180 games with Atletico from 2014 to 2019. In each of his first two seasons with the Colchoneros, he had 22 goals, and made his mark as an integral offensive force for one of the more underrated clubs in Spanish soccer.
In 2015-16, Griezmann was named the best player of La Liga. His 22 goals led Atletico Madrid by a wide margin. Griezmann had 11 more goals than striker Fernando Torres of Fuenlabrada, Spain, who had 11 goals. Griezmann was sixth overall in goals that season, behind Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona (40 goals), Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid (35 goals), Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (26 goals), Neymar of FC Barcelona (24 goals), and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid (24 goals).
Griezmann is in elite company when it comes to La Liga awards. Since 2009, he is in fact one of only three players in the league to win La Liga Best Player of the Year. The award has been dominated by Messi, who has won the award an unprecedented nine times. The only other player to win the award since 2009 was Ronaldo, who won it in 2013-14. and 2016-17.
The firepower on FC Barcelona five years ago meanwhile has now dashed. Messi and Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain, while Suarez is in Atletico now with Griezmann.
One could make the argument that Griezmann was simply not as comfortable in his two seasons in FC Barcelona compared to five seasons with Atletico Madrid. In 74 games with FC Barcelona, Griezmann had 22 goals, an average of one goal in over three games. In 180 games with Atletico, Griezmann was simply more prolific, as he averaged more than one goal every two games.