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'I want them to know that I'll try and make them proud': Antoine Griezmann insists he is focused on winning over Atletico Madrid fans after returning from Barcelona - as he gets set for his second debut away at Espanyol

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-09-09

Antoine Griezmann is set for his second debut with Atletico Madrid when they travel to Espanyol this weekend, after rejoining the champions from cash-strapped Barcelona on the final day of the transfer window.

Griezmann, who had joined Barca from Atletico in a €120million (£103m) transfer in 2019, re-signed on a loan deal after it became clear the Catalans needed to get him off their wage bill for the season.

The forward hit 100 games for the Blaugrana in their 4-2 season-opening win against Real Sociedad but the club were desperate to offload his £294,000-a-week salary.

The Frenchman, who spent five years in the Spanish capital, knows he will have to win over the Atleti supporters again, but said he was ready to prove his worth.

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Antoine Griezmann is set for his second debut with Atletico Madrid when they face Espanyol 
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The forward re-signed on a loan deal from Barcelona where he joined in 2019 for £103m

'I'll give everything for the fans, whether they're at the ground or watching on TV. I want them to know that I'll try and make them proud,' Griezmann said.

'We had a great relationship and it's something I want to have again. I know that's down to me, and I'll give my all to ensure that happens - it's actions rather than words.'

Atletico, along with city rivals Real Madrid, face a race against time to see if their South American contingents will arrive back and be ready to play come Sunday.

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Griezmann spent five years at Atletico and is desperate to win the supporters over again

Real host Celta Vigo at 8pm local time, while Atleti's trip to Espanyol kicks off in the afternoon at 2pm.

The two Madrid sides have several players who have been involved in the extended CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying international window, with a number of them only returning to Spanish soil on Friday.

Barcelona's clash against Sevilla and Alaves's trip to Villareal were postponed due to the conflict with CONMEBOL.

Argentina's last game in this international break will be in the early hours of Friday, September 10, at 1:30am Spanish time, which is just a day and a half before Sevilla's game against Barca.

Sevilla's Argentinian trio of Gonzalo Montiel, Papu Gomez and Marcos Acuna would therefore have been affected.

The Spanish government had to intervene to grant the postponements after the Spanish FA (RFEF) initially had refused the request.

Given European commitments on Tuesday, the games could not be moved to Sunday and will be played later in the season.

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