Griezmann vital to Atletico Madrid's global ambitions - Garcia

Antoine Griezmann's decision to resist Manchester United and stay at Atletico Madrid is crucial to the LaLiga club's global ambitions, according to former attacker Luis Garcia.

Griezmann was tipped to leave Madrid for Manchester in a blockbuster move but the France international committed to a long-term extension following Atletico's transfer ban.

Atletico breached FIFA regulations on the signing of youth players - meaning Diego Simeone's side are unable to register any new players until January - prompting a change of heart from Griezmann.

The 26-year-old, who scored 26 goals last season, is now preparing for the move to Atletico's new stadium - the Wanda Metropolitano - after the Spanish capital club finished third in LaLiga and reached the Champions League semi-finals in their farewell campaign at the Vicente Calderon.

"It was very important that he decided to stay," Spaniard Garcia, who enjoyed two spells at Atletico and is working as a pundit for Optus during the Confederations Cup, told Omnisport.

"It is going to be a very important year with the move into the new stadium. A big stadium with a lot more supporters.

"The club are making another big step for the future to become a global brand. Atletico are everywhere now - Asia, America and Africa. So that's very important. As you know, Premier League clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and most of them - they are very big in Asia. Real Madrid and Barca are also very big in Asia/America.

"Atletico for the last six or seven years have been getting bigger, and getting closer to these positions. This is the next step. A bigger stadium, bigger club and more supporters around the world. Also with the move of Wanda company to the club, the presence of Atletico will be more evident in China. That's a big market and important for them. They also bought a new club in Mexico.

"All of those things are what the club needed to become a global club. They are doing so well. Having important players like Griezmann, Fernando Torres, [Kevin] Gameiro, [Yannick] Carrasco - young players who are already big names in world football. I think it is important to continue in this direction."

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