Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann's uncle has slammed the functioning of the club and Lionel Messi's inhospitable behaviour, as a result of which the player remains unsettled.
According to sources from AS, Griezmann's uncle revealed that he knows of the tensions between Messi and his nephew at Barcelona. He also emphasized that the training sessions do not aid the Frenchman's work ethic.
Surprised at Griezmann's struggles even after over a year at Barcelona, his uncle aimed a jibe at the artificiality of the team's practice sessions, where drills are structured only to 'please certain people'.
Griezmann joined Barcelona in the summer of 2019 after they triggered his €120 million buy-out clause. The player has, however, not found his feet yet, as demonstrated by his tally of nine goals from 35 appearances in La Liga last term.
"I know what's going on inside Barcelona with Messi," says Griezmann's uncle
While he is yet to learn his best position in the Barcelona squad, Griezmann has not been helped by his apparent fractured relationship with Lionel Messi and a series of turbulent events at the club over the past 15 months or so.
Various stories have emerged regarding Griezmann's lack of connection with Messi, one of the more prominent ones being his former agent Eric Olhats' claims. He had said:
“Antoine arrived at a club in which Messi had his eye on everything. [Messi] is both emperor and monarch, and didn’t genuinely welcome Antoine upon his arrival. His attitude has always been deplorable and made him feel bad. His is a regime of terror – either you’re with him or you’re against him.”
Now, Griezmann's uncle has elaborated on the matter, stating:
“[Griezmann] was convinced that he wasn’t going to be successful within the first six months, but what I didn’t expect was that it would last an entire year. Besides, with Messi, I know what’s going on inside [the club] – it’s not easy."
He also criticized Messi's laid-back approach to training and the effect it has on Barcelona's sessions.
“Basically, [Messi] doesn’t work hard enough at Barca and the training sessions are structured in order to please certain people, which is fine if you don’t want to work [as hard]. Antoine needs to work, even though others don’t need as much effort to play well. He’s the other way around – he needs to put in a lot of effort for himself."
With just two goals from nine appearances this season, Griezmann has endured another frustrating spell. Barcelona's transition certainly highlights the struggle, as they have only won three of their first seven matches in the league and are presently nine points off leaders Real Sociedad in eighth place.
Following the international break, Barcelona will have to face a litmus test when they travel to the Wanda Metropolitano to take on an unbeaten Atletico Madrid side.
Published 12 Nov 2020, 17:53 IST