June 15 (UPI) — French soccer star Antoine Griezmann announced he was staying at Atletico Madrid with a Spanish TV special dubbed The Decision.
The special aired on Thursday on Cero and was filmed at Griezmann’s home in Madrid. It drew criticism on social media for being similar to The Decision special ESPN aired in 2010, when LeBron James decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.
Griezmann and France face Australia in the group stage for their World Cup opener at 6 a.m. Saturday at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia. The 27-year-old forward has played for Atletico in La Liga since 2014, after starting his senior career at Real Sociedad.
Movistar posted a preview for the show on its Twitter account.
“You will be fed up by the comments that say if I leave, if I stay, how much they give me … But the truth is what I am going to say now,” Griezmann said in the preview clip.
In the final airing he said that he made the decision on June 3.
“They are doing everything possible to make sure the team keeps growing. It’s incredible. I can’t take it anymore, I need to tell the people that I want to stay,” Griezmann said in the video.
Griezmann had been linked to La Liga champion FC Barcelona. AS English reported that the special included Griezmann eating popcorn, playing Fortnite and visiting horses.
“I have decided to stay,” Grizmann eventually said, while Drake’s God’s Plan played in the background.
On Friday, France coach Didier Deschamps spoke to reporters about the Griezmann video and his choice to remain at Atletico.
“This shows two things, firstly his loyalty and commitment to Atletico Madrid,” Deschamps said.
“But most importantly for us, he has cleared his mind ahead of the World Cup and it’s certainly a very good thing for us.”
Griezmann had 29 goals in 48 games last season for Atletico.