Football

Antoine Griezmann didn't join Barcelona partly because of Lionel Messi.

Journalist reacts after Antoine Griezmann reveals he rejected Barcelona partly due to Leo Messi

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Barcelona tried their best to sign Antoine Greizmann in the summer.

The Spanish giants were keen to bolster their attacking line and identified the Frenchman as their ideal signing.

But, after months of speculation, Griezmann announced in a documentary that he would be rejecting Barcelona and staying at Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona eventually ended up signing Malcom in a transfer that has not paid off as of yet.

Griezmann never fully explained why he rejected Barcelona.

However, months on from his decision, the 27-year-old has revealed the truth.

And he explained that part of his reason for rejecting Barcelona was that he didn't want to be Lionel Messi's 'lieutenant'.

"Was it hard to refuse Barca? It was very difficult," he told Canal Plus, per FourFourTwo. "You have Barca who wants you, who calls you, who sends messages.

"But then there is the club where you are, where you are an important player and where they build a project around you.

"[And] subconsciously, being Messi's lieutenant may have played a part.

Griezmann rejected Barcelona to stay at Atletico this summer

"But my team-mates and people at the club [Atleti] did everything, they came to talk to me, they increased my salary.

"They did everything to show that it was my home and that I shouldn't leave. It was really complicated times, especially for my wife where I woke her up at 3am to talk about it!"

So the footballing world now knows the truth.

But one thing that few people can understand is why he didn't want to play with Messi.

Barcelona failed to prise Griezmann away from Atletico this summer

It is surely an opportunity that surely almost every footballer would like to take up but Griezmann clearly didn't want to be in his shadow.

Andy West, a journalist working for BBC Sport, has reacted to his comments and he has sent a perfect tweet.

Referencing Luis Suarez's success at the club since joining from Liverpool, West wrote: "Maybe Griezmann should ask Luis Suarez how 'being in Messi's shadow' has worked out for him.

"160 goals, three Liga titles, a Champions League and a Golden Boot suggests it's not been too much of a chore."

Very well said. Like Griezmann, Suarez is a world-class player.

And he has been able to flourish while playing with Messi, both individually and as part of a team.

Not many are critical of Suarez and hardly any think he's in Messi's shadow.

There's a very good chance that Griezmann would have been able to shine in the same manner as Suarez has done if he chose to join Barcelona.

Let's hope he doesn't live to regret his choice to reject the Catalan giants.

Topics:
Football
Malcom Silva de Oliveira
Antoine Griezmann
Atletico Madrid
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez

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