Antoine Griezmann says it will be an 'incredible joy' to play with Lionel Messi at Barcelona

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Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barcelona player. 

His move from Atletico Madrid was one of the longest running transfer sagas in recent memory, beginning shortly after the 2018 World Cup.

That summer, the Blaugrana triggered his release clause of £88 million, seemingly looking to close a deal. 

But shortly after, Griezmann released a documentary video titled "La Decision", in which he revealed he would, in fact, be staying at Madrid for another year.

He then signed a contract extension which increased his release clause to €200 million - a fee that dropped to €120 million on July 1st, allowing Barca to sign him for a cut price on Friday. 

Still, they could have saved themselves a bit of money had the deal been confirmed last summer, but that probably won't bother the club, who now have their man. 

And on Saturday, Greizmann uttered his first words as a Barcelona player.

"I'm very happy and looking forward to working with the squad and meeting my new team-mates," he told the Blaugrana's official website

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"It’s a new challenge, with new targets. I hope I can do as well as I have been doing for my club and country. La Liga, La Copa, the Champions League... I hope to win them here."

As well as outlining his goals, the Frenchman also had a word on Lionel Messi, and suggested that it will be an 'incredible joy' to play with him.

"I’m looking forward to seeing what [Messi's] like on a day-to-day basis, in training. Playing next to him will be an incredible joy." 

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Ironically, it seems Griezmann has backtracked on a comment he made eight months ago, suggesting that playing in Messi's shadow was one of the reasons he didn't want to join Barca.  

"Was it hard to refuse Barca? It was very difficult," he told FourFourTwo back in November 2018.

"You have Barca who wants you, who calls you, who sends messages. But then there is the club where you are, where you are an important player and where they build a project around you.

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"Subconsciously, being Messi's lieutenant may have played a part." 

That's quite the u-turn, but it seems that a lot has changed for Griezmann in the last year or so and now he'll be hoping to kick on and win trophies alongside the greatest player of all-time.   

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