Barcelona and Lionel Messi never seem too far from a crisis currently, and the captain has launched a fresh outburst at the club after arriving back in Spain on Wednesday.
Messi has been on international duty with Argentina for World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru and was met by reporters at the city’s El Prat airport, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
The 33-year-old was asked about recent comments made by team-mate Antoine Griezmann’s former agent Eric Olhats and responded, “I’m tired of always being the problem of everything at the club.”
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Griezmann Agent Criticizes Messi
Olhats had been heavily critical of Messi in an interview with France Football. The Frenchman’s former adviser placed the blame on Griezmann’s struggles at the Camp Nou at the feet of the Barcelona captain.
Antoine arrived in a struggling club where Messi has a view on everything. He’s at the same time emperor and monarch, and he didn’t see Antoine’s arrival with a good eye. His attitude has been deplorable, he made him feel that. I’ve always heard Antoine say there’s no problem with Messi, but never the other way around.
In my eyes, Messi said he wanted to leave to see what role he still had as a decision-making player, regarding the players who arrived and those who left, but he eventually stayed. Classic Messi! As good on the pitch as he is bad off it Barcelona has been suffering for a while. There was a cancer in that club, and it obviously leaves some marks.
Griezmann’s uncle, Emmanuel Lopes, has also been critical of Messi in regards to the way he trains which he claims does not help his nephew, as reported by AS.
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.
The comments certainly appear to have made their way to Messi. However, the captain doesn’t have a problem with Griezmann, according to Goal’s Ruben Uria. It’s more a case of Messi being fed up at being blamed for Barca’s problems and tired after a 15 hour flight home.
Messi and Griezmann Face Atletico Next
Barcelona need Messi and Griezmann to work together on Saturday when the Catalan giants come up against Atletico Madrid in La Liga. The Rojiblancos are already six points ahead in the table, meaning Ronald Koeman’s side could really do with a win to close the gap.
The fixture sees Griezmann come up against his former team, and the forward will be keen to shine at his former home. Griezmann has had a tough start to the season but did score last time out against Real Betis after being teed up by Messi.
Griezmann has since been away with the France team and played all 90 minutes of Nations League wins over Portugal and Sweden. The World Cup winner and Messi are due to return to training on Thursday for the first time after the international break, and there’s no doubt there will be plenty of scrutiny on the duo.
Meanwhile, manager Ronald Koeman will have precious little time to prepare his squad for their vital match. The team are due to train on Thursday and again on Friday before heading off to Madrid for a game they can’t afford to lose.