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Lionel Messi wanted to veto signing of ex-Barcelona superstar in favor of re-signing Neymar in 2019: Reports

Lionel Messi wanted to veto signing of ex-Barcelona superstar in favor of re-signing Neymar in 2019
Lionel Messi wanted to veto signing of ex-Barcelona superstar in favor of re-signing Neymar in 2019

Lionel Messi reportedly wanted to veto the signing of Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona and wanted the club to re-sign Neymar Jr. instead.

As reported by Spanish outlet El Nacional, he advised former Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu not to sign Griezmann in the summer of 2019.

However, his advice fell on deaf ears as the Catalan giants splashed €136 million to sign France international from Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona's decision to spend a fortune on the World Cup-winning Frenchman did not turn out to be a particularly successful one.

Griezmann could never really showcase his brilliance in the Blaugrana colors, as he registered 35 goals and 17 assists in 102 games. He has now moved back to Atletico Madrid permanently following a loan spell with Diego Simeone's side.

🗣️ Griezmann in the mixed zone: “Messi is the Best Player in the World.” @Reycholosimeone 🤝🇫🇷 https://t.co/7mrxzOWyBL

Signing Griezmann has also been a massive financial blow for Barcelona as they have not been able to recoup his massive transfer fee.

Messi and Griezmann never really managed to shine together on the pitch as they lacked chemistry.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner eventually left the Catalan club in 2021 after his contract expired. He joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) while Griezmann also moved out on loan to Atletico Madrid.

The two former Barcelona teammates will face off against each other in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final.

Griezmann has been pivotal for France in Qatar in a new role assigned to him by Didier Deschamps.

The Atletico Madrid attacker has caught the eye in a deeper and creative role for Les Bleus. He will be looking to fire his country to back-to-back FIFA World Cup triumphs.

The Argentina captain, on the other hand, has been at his best in the FIFA World Cup, having scored five goals and provided three assists in six games.


Antoine Griezmann opens up on facing Lionel Messi's Argentina in the FIFA World Cup final

Griezmann admitted that facing the Argentine ace in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final would be 'totally different'. He said (via Metro):

"Any team with Messi in is a totally different proposition. We've seen Argentina play and we know how they play. They are a difficult team to play and they seem on top form. It's not only Messi. They have a strong side around them and they are going to have a lot of support in the crowd. We will be well prepared."
🗣️ Aurélien Tchouaméni: “Griezmann said Messi is the Best Player in the World? For me it’s Kylian.. for me, for me it’s Mbappe and I want him to prove that in the next game.” https://t.co/KT6VwmYsVw

France will take on Argentina in the final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, December 18.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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