Antoine Griezmann is one of the top attackers in the world and will be one of the leading lights of a French team trying to win the World Cup in Russia. For the last four seasons, he has starred for Atletico Madrid, scoring 79 goals in 143 games as they made a Champions League Final and won the Europa League.
During this summer transfer window, there has been speculation that Griezmann would make a big money move to Barcelona, because either Real Madrid or Barca have to snatch up all the best players from their main competition sooner or later.
On the eve of the World Cup, Griezmann somehow thought it would be a good idea to reveal his intention to stay at Atleti or move to Barcelona in a televised announcement a la LeBron James and “The Decision.” Now in his mid-30’s James is widely respected for his influence both on and off the court, but even LeBron’s most ardent supporters will admit in hindsight that going on national television and making a spectacle of his first free-agent move in 2010 wasn’t the best way to handle the situation.
Apparently, Griezmann was undeterred. Not only did he have his announcement aired in a documentary on Spanish network Cero, it was even called “La Decision.” That would be “THE DECISION,” for the non-Spanish speakers out there.
The channel even put this teaser out to advertise Griezmann’s cliffhanger.
"Estaréis hartitos por los comentarios que dicen si me voy, si me quedo, cuánto me dan… Pero la verdad es la que voy a decir ahora". #LaDecisión de @antogriezmann, hoy a las 21.15h SÓLO en @cero. pic.twitter.com/lZOb47itC6
— Movistar+ (@MovistarPlus) June 14, 2018
Maybe there was at least one lesson Griezmann learned from James. He didn’t leave his current team and crush the hopes and dreams of Atleti fans into a million tiny pieces for all the world to see. Instead, Griezmann revealed that he would indeed stay with Atletico Madrid as their main man as they look to overcome the dominant Spanish powers of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Mi afición, mi equipo, MI CASA! @atleti ?⚪?
Mes supporters, mon équipe, MA MAISON ! @AtletiFR ?⚪?
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) June 14, 2018
Still though, social media had a field day with Griezmann going the uber-dramatic television route to reveal that he’d be… just playing for the same team next year.
Griezmann announces that there is nothing to announce.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 14, 2018
Griezmann is an excellent player. But he's just won the Europa League. Who on earth does he think he is?
— Rik Sharma (@riksharma_) June 14, 2018
“I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany” Antoine Griezmann 2018; reveals his decision in documentary #LaDecision #AntoineGriezmann #AtleticoMadrid pic.twitter.com/Le0RM5xl5o
— Sarabjeet (@sarberman) June 14, 2018
The whole Griezmann "The decision" carry-on is pathetic. Nobody cares where you play any more mate.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) June 14, 2018
Antoine Griezmann making an entire event (called 'The Decision') dedicated to a one word answer ('staying' or 'leaving') goes down as one of the most embarrassing things to happen in football.
— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) June 14, 2018
when LeBron heard that Antoine Griezmann was doing his own version of "The Decision" on TV pic.twitter.com/4eh06gN25t
— #MyPLSummer (@NBCSportsSoccer) June 14, 2018
There’s a reason why nobody else has really tried to replicate what James did all the way back in 2010. The original “Decision” was a PR disaster for LeBron and made him public enemy No. 1 in professional sports as he began his career in Miami. And in choosing to air it, ESPN was pilloried by critics who called it the worst thing the network had ever put its name to.
Why someone would think it would be a good idea to recreate is baffling. But then again, considering what else Griezmann has posted to social media, maybe he just doesn’t have the best judgment when it comes to these things.