Antoine Griezmann is looking to put recent controversies behind him and says he has no relationship at all with his former agent Eric Olhats as he tried to put into perspective his relationship with the Barca talisman since he joined them.
The France forward has retaliated against his former self-proclaimed ‘adviser’ Eric Olhats for trying to cause “damage” to his relationship with Lionel Messi, quickly dismissing claims of a rift between the Barcelona teammates, after Olhats had boldly accused Messi of conducting a ‘reign of terror’ at Camp Nou and making life difficult for the French forward since he joined the club last year.
And, to complicate matters, Griezmann’s uncle threw in his two bits, saying it was not easy for his nephew to play in the same team as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, adding that the Barca talisman didn’t work hard at all in training.
Messi, having had enough of the crap, promptly hit back last week upon arriving at El Plat airport in Barcelona after his successful stint on international duty, saying he was tired of being blamed for problems at Barcelona.
Griezmann has not shown his best form at Barca, but his situation has not been helped by off-field distractions and he took the initiative of saying he could no longer remain silent on the whole matter. The France international has come forward to clear the air once and for all and firmly denied the scandalous claims made recently and affirmed that he has not had any contact with both his former adviser and his uncle.
“I have been putting up with comments for a long while and now it’s time to say enough,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Movistar.
“He (Olhats) was very important in my life but I don’t have a relationship with him anymore,” Griezmann said. “I stopped having any relationship with him since the day I got married. I invited him to the wedding day, and he didn’t come. That’s why I stopped having a relationship with him.
“My parents don’t talk to Eric either, so who is going to talk to him? He can do a lot of damage, and create problems in the dressing room.”
“My agent is my sister, but she doesn’t speak. Neither do my parents. As no one speaks, Eric offers an opinion but that can do a lot of damage and create doubts about my relationship with Leo. Leo knows I have a lot of respect for him. I learn from him.
The France forward has also thrown light on the rumors clouding his relationship with Messi since he joined the Camp Nou ranks early last year and actually made the surprise admission that his decision to reject a transfer to Camp Nou in 2018 had actually upset Lionel Messi then as the latter had in fact asked for his transfer, contrary to claims made otherwide that the Barca talisman was antagonistic to his joining.
Griezmann eventually joined Barca in 2019 after having played coy on the prospect of making the move to Catalunya the previous year and caused embarassment to the Camp Nou only to remain at Atletico Madrid. In reality, Messi had spoken positively about Griezmann joining the club even in 2018, and the Frenchman has admitted the pair had a long conversation when he eventually joined Barca.
“When I signed for the club I asked for forgiveness for delaying the move and saying I wouldn’t join Barcelona,” Griezmann told Jorge Valdano on the latest edition of Universo Valdano.
“I told Lionel Messi that I would give everything on the pitch for the club.
“I spoke with Leo when I arrived and he told me that when I turned down the first chance to go, he was screwed because he had asked for it publicly, but he told me he was with me and I notice it every day.”
“My uncle doesn’t know how football works. And in the end, the journalist ended up getting the statement out of him. I told Leo that I never speak to them, in fact, I don’t even have my uncle’s phone number.
Griezmann is well aware that the best way to put criticism behind him is to let his performance do the talking on the pitch.
Now with this mess cleared up, let’s hope a new chapter for Barcelona will be written with Messi and his strike partner Griezmann finally galvanizing well together to churn out the goals needed to pull the team out of its mess in the La Liga.
It’s about time.