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Griezmann defends relationship with Messi in Spanish TV interview

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-11-25 10:26
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FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal with Antoine Griezmann in Barcelona, Spain, November 4, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID -- FC Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann insists he has an excellent relationship with Leo Messi despite rumors to the contrary.

Speaking in an interview with former Real Madrid coach Jorge Valdano on the Movistar TV channel, Griezmann admitted that Messi had been upset by his decision to remain at Atletico Madrid for the 2018-19 season before finally moving to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2019.

"I arrived at Barcelona after turning them down the year before. I spoke with Leo when I arrived and he told me that it disappointed him when I refused to go the first time, because he had made public comments, but that now we are on the same team and that he would stand by me to the end. That's what I notice and feel every day," he said.

Griezmann also distanced himself from comments made by his former agent and his uncle about his relationship with Messi saying he was no longer in contact with his former representative and that he "never speaks to his uncle."

The French international has struggled to reproduce his international form at Barca and has just 17 goals in 58 appearances and admitted that fans were "not seeing the best Griezmann."

However, he said that the turmoil at the club, which has seen Ernesto Valverde replaced by Quique Setien and Setien sacked and replaced by Ronald Koeman in the past year, has not helped.

"In a year and a half I have had three coaches. That's not easy. I need time to adapt to my colleagues and they need to adapt to me and on top of that we have had changes of system with the different coaches," he commented.

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