Contractual tug of war may help Griezmann

Madrid (AFP) – It could be even less for Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup.

The French striker was getting a few minutes with Atletico Madrid due to a unique contract dispute with Barcelona, ​​but with his place in the World Cup not really in danger, he could end up being one of the few players newly arrived for the tournament in November.

Griezmann has been on the bench at Atletico as the Spanish club tries to avoid paying Barcelona 40 million euros ($40.5 million) if he plays more than 45 minutes on average in a number of matches during his loan spell. Atletico coach Diego Simeone did not use the striker until after 60 minutes had passed in all six of the team’s matches this season.

The 31-year-old Griezmann, the World Cup champion with France four years ago, is the second on his two-year loan from Barcelona. He was a star at Atletico from 2014-19 before moving to the Catalan club for two disappointing seasons.

It’s what it is, it’s not up to me,” said Griezmann. “Of course, I want to play more, but I will give everything I have in the minutes I get. I am a player in a team, I am happy here and I just want to play and do everything I can for the club, for Simeone and for the fans.”

Griezmann has certainly used most of his time on the court thus far, performing well when on the bench. He has already scored three goals, including the stoppage-time winner in Atletico’s victory over Porto in last week’s Champions League opener.

“At this point in the season, he helps us in this very way, and it shows in the quality of the minutes he plays, in his hierarchy,” Simeone said. “What we do know is that in 30 minutes he played very well. We don’t know how he will be in 60. I can only go with what we know.”

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