Antoine Griezmann: Atletico fans leave toy rats on former player’s plaque ahead of Barcelona clash

Ben Hayward
Ben Hayward/Evening Standard

Some Atletico Madrid fans have left toy rats and empty beer cans on Antoine Griezmann’s plaque outside the Wanda Metropolitano ahead of the French forward’s return with Barcelona on Sunday night.

All Atletico players who have made 100 or more appearances for the Rojiblancos have a commemorative plaque in the ‘Walk of Legends’ at the front of the stadium and Griezmann, who played 257 games and scored 133 goals for the Madrid side, is among them.

Fans of Atletico vandalised the plaque of Hugo Sanchez, who famously left to join fierce rivals Real Madrid in the 1980s, on the opening of the Wanda Metropolitano in 2017, and Thibaut Courtois suffered a similar fate following his transfer from Chelsea to Los Blancos last year.

Many of Atleti’s supporters also threw stuffed rats at the Belgian goalkeeper on his return here as a Madrid player and a couple of those were placed on Griezmann’s plaque ahead of Sunday’s game.

Heavy rain in the capital meant the plaque did not endure further damage ahead of kick-off, but Griezmann is expected to receive a hostile reception when he takes to the field for Barcelona, having upset Atleti by reportedly negotiating his transfer to the Catalan club ahead of an important Champions League knockout game in March.

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