Barcelona's transfers with Atletico Madrid have a behavior of backfiring. Will Memphis be any totally different?


Memphis Depay‘s transfer from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid — which was confirmed on Friday for €3m, plus one other €1m in add-ons — is the most recent switch involving two of LaLiga‘s largest golf equipment lately.

With out the animosity generated by the Clasico rivalry between Barcelona and Actual Madrid, Barca and Atleti have been in a position to sit down to debate quite a few high-profile transfers, from a €120m transfer for Antoine Griezmann — who has even gone in each instructions (albeit for simply €20m on the way in which again) — to Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and David Villa.

Taking a look at how these signings turned out, you surprise if Barcelona could be reluctant to do a lot enterprise with Atletico sooner or later. Or might the Depay deal — with Barca receiving a payment of as much as €4m for a bit-part participant at Camp Nou who might have left for nothing in the summertime when his contract expired — start to show the tide?

This is a have a look at the offers involving Barcelona and Atletico over the previous 15 years, why they occurred, and who ended up benefiting essentially the most.

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David Villa (Barcelona to Atletico Madrid, €5.1m, July 2013)

Why he moved: By the point he joined Atletico, Villa had already starred for Actual Zaragoza, Valencia and Barcelona and was recognised as one among Spain’s best-ever forwards, all-time prime scorer for the nationwide staff and a key a part of the Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup-winning squads. Nonetheless, at 31 he was considered as previous his greatest. Barca had simply signed Neymar for €86.2m and in addition had Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro to select from up entrance. In the meantime, Atletico wanted a substitute for Radamel Falcao, who had simply left for Monaco.

The way it labored out: Atletico received LaLiga, with Villa scoring 13 instances. Atletico even clinched the 2013-14 title in opposition to Barca with a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou of their final sport of the season. Villa additionally helped Atletico attain the Champions League last (by beating Barca of their quarterfinal alongside the way in which), and he began within the 4-1 defeat to Actual Madrid in Lisbon. It was a quick however superb year-long swansong in Spain, earlier than he moved abroad to MLS aspect New York Metropolis FC.

Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, €34m, January 2016)

Why he moved: Turan was an necessary participant for Atletico over 4 seasons after becoming a member of from Galatasaray in 2011 and a key a part of their 2013-14 title-winning aspect. The attacking midfielder’s switch to Barca was agreed in July 2015, however a switch ban imposed on the membership for breaching FIFA guidelines on signing under-18 gamers meant he could not be registered till the next January. It was an uncommon transfer. Barca had been in the course of presidential elections when the deal was completed and an choice was included to return the participant to Atletico if the profitable candidate wasn’t eager.

The way it labored out: Being unable to play for his first six months in Barcelona was unhealthy sufficient, however issues went downhill from there. Turan made a good 18 league appearances within the second half of 2015-16, however half of these got here instead. He by no means got here near matching his affect at Atletico, whereas accidents additionally took their toll, enjoying one other 18 league video games in his first full season, 2016-17. Turan finally joined Turkey’s Istanbul Basaksehir on mortgage in January 2018 and is usually cited as one among Barcelona’s most disappointing signings.

Luis Suarez (Barcelona to Atletico Madrid, Free, September 2020)

Why he moved: Suarez was compelled out of Barcelona as a part of makes an attempt to refresh the squad within the aftermath of their 8-2 Champions League thrashing to Bayern Munich. The Uruguay striker later revealed that new boss Ronald Koeman — appointed in August 2020 — advised him he was surplus to necessities in a 40-second cellphone name. It was an unsightly finish to a spell which noticed Suarez type a part of an iconic entrance three with Messi and Neymar, profitable 4 LaLiga titles and a Champions League, whereas establishing himself because the membership’s third-highest all-time prime scorer with 198 targets in 283 video games. After a transfer Juventus broke down, a deal was agreed with Atletico.

The way it labored out: It occurred once more! Atletico received LaLiga in 2020-21 because of Suarez’s 21 targets, together with the essential second in a 2-1 win at Actual Valladolid which secured the title. Suarez did not have fairly the identical impression in his second season, scoring 11 instances in LaLiga as Atletico completed third, however his contribution in that first yr — motivated by a need to display that Barca had been fallacious to ditch him — makes him among the many greatest worth signings Spanish soccer has ever seen. Suarez left when his contract expired in July 2022, returning dwelling to Uruguay’s Nacional earlier than becoming a member of Brazilian aspect Gremio after the World Cup.



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Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, €120m, July 2019)

Why he moved: Griezmann was one among LaLiga’s star gamers in his first spell at Atletico, with standout performances in 2015-16 — after they reached their second Champions League last in three years — and 2017-18, when he received the Europa League with Atletico and the World Cup with France. The summer time of 2018 noticed him agonise over a swap to Barcelona — a course of documented in his notorious documentary “The Decision” — earlier than deciding to remain, solely to present the inexperienced gentle to a deal a yr later. It was a controversial transfer, with Barcelona paying Griezmann’s €120m launch clause and Atletico claiming they had been owed one other €80m, believing Barca had agreed a cope with the participant months earlier, when the clause was set at €200m.

The way it labored out: Not very effectively. Griezmann by no means settled at Camp Nou and there have been difficulties integrating him right into a staff that already contained Messi as its focus. Griezmann wasn’t an abject failure, however neither did he stay as much as his Atletico type and popularity. In his two seasons at Barcelona, the staff completed behind Actual Madrid and Atletico in LaLiga and had been closely overwhelmed by Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain within the Champions League. Griezmann’s return of 9 league targets in 2019-20 was his worst in eight years, though he did a little bit higher in 2020-21, discovering the online 13 instances.



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Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona to Atletico Madrid, mortgage in August 2021, made everlasting in October 2022)

Why he moved: After failing to stay as much as expectations in two years at Camp Nou, Griezmann returned to Atletico on a two-year mortgage in a deal which was concluded on deadline day on Aug. 31, 2021. Barcelona had been eager to maneuver him on all summer time, understanding that their monetary points made preserving Griezmann and Messi unimaginable. They ended up shedding each. A swap deal for Griezmann involving Saul Niguez was mentioned and dominated out, earlier than Barca finally determined to let him go for €20m simply two years after paying a €120m payment and some weeks after Messi had accomplished a free switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The way it labored out: Griezmann struggled for confidence in his first season again on the Metropolitano, scoring thrice in LaLiga. The 2022-23 marketing campaign additionally received off to a tough begin as wrangling with Barcelona noticed him comically launched after an hour by coach Diego Simeone, week after week, as Atletico tried to pressure a discount of the agreed €40m payment to make his deal everlasting, which might have turn into compulsory if he performed a minimum of 45 minutes in over 50% of their video games. He regained his type and standing as one of many world’s greatest with France on the World Cup, although, and appears a lot happier now.

With the Villa, Turan, Suarez and Griezmann offers all turning out in Atletico’s favour and making Barca look foolish, all eyes at the moment are on how Memphis performs.

If his targets assist Atletico end within the prime 4 — which isn’t any certainty, given that they are in fourth place stage on factors with Villarreal and Actual Betis — it’d simply go down as one other masterstroke. Given his restricted position at Camp Nou, although, he is unlikely to turn into a Villa or Suarez model embarrassment both.

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