Simeone: no hard feelings over Griezmann departure

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RCD Espanyol's Wu Lei (C) competes with Atletico de Madrid's Antoine Griezmann (R) during a La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Atletico de Madrid in Barcelona, Spain, on May 4, 2019. (Xinhua/Joan Gosa)

Atletico Madrid may have lost their star striker Antoine Griezmann to title rivals FC Barcelona this summer, but Atletico coach Diego Simeone said he has no hard feelings towards the Frenchman after Griezmann paid his contract release clause in order to sign for the reigning champions.

"I really value what Griezmann did in his five years with us," said Simeone in an interview with TyC Sports.

The 28-year-old scored 94 league goals in his time with Atletico to help book his ticket to Barcelona and his former coach admitted "this is an important moment in his career and he is going to an extraordinary club in Barcelona."

He also reminded fans that Atletico have made a lot of money from the striker whose sale brought 120 million euros (134 million US dollars) into the Atletico coffers.

"When he arrived he played out wide and he came for 25 million euros," he said, explaining how he was partly responsible for the Frenchman's impressive goal haul.

"I told him he had to play in the middle and score more, which he understood and which he did."

"As a coach, I am happy with how he did. I have a great relationship with him and his family," said Simeone, who predicted that Griezmann can "keep up his rhythm then he'll have a good season."

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