AAP Soccer

Griezmann can’t wait to play with Messi

By AAP Newswire

New signing Antoine Griezmann can't wait to begin his partnership with Lionel Messi in Barcelona colours after the French international striker was unveiled as the Catalan club's latest big signing.

The 28-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year deal, moving to the Nou Camp this week from Atletico Madrid after the LaLiga champions met his 120 million euro ($A193m) buy-out clause.

Griezmann was unveiled at the club's stadium at a press conference on Sunday evening and spoke about his intention to make an impact at Barcelona.

"It's always difficult to leave somewhere in which you are comfortable. I have a lot of admiration and respect for Atletico Madrid, and I gave my all for them, right to the end. However, now I want a new challenge, I want to better myself and step out of my comfort zone," reported Barcelona's website.

"I want to be an important player at this great club, and I will try to win LaLiga, as well as the Copa del Rey and the Champions League - the trophies missing from my curriculum.

"I've worked hard to be an important player in every position. I can play on the left, the right or in the middle, but the only thing that matters is doing well in order to help the team. I offer passing play, assists, goals and joy in my game."

Asked about having Messi, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, as a team-mate, Griezmann said: "I'm very happy. It's a joy for me to play alongside him.

"He is the number one player for me, like Lebron James in the NBA. He is someone that every player can look up to, and he will be a legend to my children - and my children's children in the future."

Griezmann scored 133 goals in 257 games for Atletico after joining them from Real Sociedad in 2014, helping the club win the Europa League in 2018 by scoring twice in the final against Marseille.