With French forward Antoine Griezmann publicly snubbing FC Barcelona during the latest transfer window, he has now stated that superstar Lionel Messi may have indirectly influenced his decision at the time.
It is well-known that the Catalan club was interested in the 27-year-old towards the end of the past season, but in a video released to the public via several different channels, Griezmann announced he would be staying at Atletico Madrid instead.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has now revealed that, although it was not easy turning down Barca, he may have been put off by the thought of playing second fiddle to Messi.
"Was it hard to refuse Barca? It was very difficult," Griezmann told Canal+.
"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.
"But my teammates 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!"
Griezmann has had a fairly quiet start to life in LaLiga this season, having scored three goals and assisted a further three strikes in 12 matches so far.
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