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'Enough': Antoine Griezmann Dismisses Rumours of Rift With Messi, Tells Critics to Keep Quiet

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has broken his silence on relations with Lionel Messi, denying reports of a rift with the Argentine superstar. The 29-year-old said he could no longer remain silent after hearing statements made by his uncle Emmanuel Lopes and former agent Eric Olhats.

"I have been putting up with comments for a long while and now it's time to say enough. 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. My uncle doesn't know how football works", Griezmann said in an interview with the TV channel Movistar.

The Frenchman distanced himself from his uncle and former agent, saying he no longer maintains a relationship with the two men. He also noted that the people who are really close to him – his parents and his sister, who happens to be his agent – do not speak to the press.

Griezmann revealed that although Messi told him he was not happy when the 29-year-old publicly refused to join Barcelona in 2018, the two have a good relationship.

"He told me that I was now in his team and that he was with me until death. And that's how I feel every day. He's a great player", the athlete said in the interview with Movistar.

His statements come two weeks after Griezmann's uncle and former agent criticised Lionel Messi and Barcelona, while defending the French star's performance this season. The former claimed that training sessions in Barcelona were designed to make Messi look good, while the latter said Barcelona was sick and blasted the Argentine striker for his deplorable attitude.

"He's at the same time emperor and monarch, and he didn't see Antoine's arrival with a good eye", Olhats said.

Messi responded by saying he is "tired of always being the problem" for everything at the club.

Rumours about the purported rift between the two forwards have been swirling for more than a year and have only intensified with Barcelona's poor start to the season. The club, which has dominated La Liga for years, is now ranked thirteenth and trails 12 points behind Real Sociedad, who are on top of the table. Barcelona's fans blamed the failures on the lacklustre performance of Griezmann, who cost Barcelona more than $141 million. This season the Frenchman has so far scored just two goals and made one assist.

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