Antoine Griezmann has revealed his understanding of why Atlético Madrid supporters may have become 'irritated' by his refusal to commit his future to the club earlier than he did.
The 27-year-old French striker has finally signed a new deal with the club, and will spend the next five years at the Wanda Metropolitano after penning terms on a contract running until 2023.
He had long been linked with a €100m move to rivals Barcelona, with Griezmann initially failing to commit to a decision, one way or the other. Now, as reported by Marca, Griezmann has acknowledged that the furore may have upset Atlético's supporters.
"I understand that some fans might have been irritated by the uncertainty," he said.
"It is logical, but I can only have words of gratitude for our supporters, as they always support me and I try to give them back all the love by giving everything on the pitch. There's nothing that excites me more than listening to you singing my name in the [Estadio] Wanda Metropolitano, it's amazing."
Griezmann went on to praise the infrastructure of the club, and shared his excitement at what the future may hold for him at Atleti.
"Since I arrived, the club has grown a lot. We have inaugurated a spectacular, impressive stadium that has allowed us to continue growing. I love the project we are building, with great players. I appreciate the great effort the club is making and [the president] Miguel Angel Gil told me about his ideas for next season.
"I was very excited, [as] the project is incredible." I am convinced that together we will achieve great things."
The French striker, who is currently with the national side at this summer's World Cup finals in Russia, finished by thanking a variety of people for their continued support in recent months.
"I want to thank all my colleagues for the support, [as well as] the coaching staff. We are a family and you can see that on the field, as we all fight together for the same goal. I have always felt very loved by everyone and that is very important for me."
Griezmann will line up alongside international colleague Thomas Lemar next season, after the winger's big money move from Monaco was confirmed at the same time as Griezmann's new deal was announced.