Antoine Griezmann is booed by his OWN FANS in first Atletico Madrid appearance at the Wanda Metropolitano since returning from Barcelona – with supporters still unhappy over his initial departure to the Nou Camp
- Antoine Griezmann is back at Atletico Madrid on loan from Barcelona
- But in his first appearance back at the Wanda Metropolitano he was booed
- Fans are still unhappy over his initial 2019 departure to the Nou Camp
- Griezmann came on as a second half sub in 0-0 draw in Europe against Porto
- Manager Diego Simeone has urged the France midfielder to defy his critics
Antoine Griezmann was booed by his own Atletico Madrid fans on Wednesday after playing at the Wanda Metropolitano for the first time since his return to the club this summer.
The France forward is on loan at Atletico from Barcelona, with Atletico also having an option to purchase him outright next summer.
But far from being given a welcome return by supporters, he was loudly jeered as he came on as a second half substitute in Wednesday night’s goalless draw with Porto.
Antoine Griezmann was booed by Atletico Madrid fans after making his home return
In his second spell at the club he was jeered as he replaced Joao Felix in the second half
Griezmann’s name was also jeered when his name and number were read out before the Champions League tie
He was booed when he came onto the field, with most in the crowd at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium expressing their discontentment with how the France forward left the club in 2019 to join Barca having been one of manager Diego Simeone’s star players.
Many fans in the crowd of nearly 40,000 applauded Griezmann but they were not nearly as loud as those who protested. Griezmann played five seasons with Atletico before leaving when Barcelona paid £108million for him.
‘Everyone is making a big deal out of this situation,’ Simeone said.
Griezmann’s name was also jeered during the warm up as his name and number were read out
The forward shows his disappointment following Atletico’s 0-0 draw with Porto on Wednesday
‘Hopefully he will keep improving so he can answer those who are criticising him now. He has a challenge ahead of him because of what happened in the past.’
Griezmann left Atletico in 2019 after Barca triggered his release clause but supporters had already grown tired of his suggestions that he was open to leaving the club.
In 2018, the 30-year-old made a bizarre TV show called ‘The Decision’, over whether he would stay or leave Atletico that summer, with Barca heavily keen on signing him, before confirming he would stay.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s match, Eduardo Fernandez, the president of the Atletico de Madrid International Fan Club, explained to L’Equipe: ‘A part of the public will whistle and insult him, that’s for sure. When his name is announced and as soon as he touches the ball.
Manager Diego Simeone has urged Griezmann to keep improving to defy his critics
Griezmann though was unable to inspire his Atletico side to victory over Porto
The Spanish champions’ Champions League campaign got underway with a 0-0 draw
‘There is a disenchantment. Before, he was our idol. Now he’s just a player like any other. He doesn’t represent much anymore. His image has seriously deteriorated. We’re all still hurt by what he did. Time is going to see our pain heal. He will have to regain our trust and our love.
‘It is up to him to be forgiven and to redeem himself. By sweating for the jersey and scoring. When he scores important goals, little by little things will get back to normal. Because he can once again become the great player he was, I am convinced.’
Griezmann’s popularity would not have likely improved among the booing sections of fans having failed to inspire the Spanish champions to victory over Porto.
Atletico keeper Jan Oblak admitted his side were left frustrated at failing to break down a stubborn Porto defence.
‘We tried until the end but unfortunately things didn’t goal our way,’ Oblak said. ‘Porto defended well and was dangerous in the counterattacks.’
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