Barcelona news: Lionel Messi has not contacted me but Luis Suarez welcomed me to Camp Nou – Antoine Griezmann


The former Atletico Madrid forward was presented on July 14 but the Blaugrana club captain has been yet to speak to him

Antoine Griezmann says he has been yet to hear from Lionel Messi after joining Barcelona, but has received a message from Luis Suarez to welcome him to Catalunya.

After paying €120 million (£107/$134m) to activate the release clause in Griezmann’s Atletico Madrid contract, Barca presented the forward as their latest signing on July 14.

The France international said he received a warm welcome from those present on the club’s tour to Japan, where they will play Chelsea and Vissel Kobe in the Rakuten Cup, despite being nutmegged twice in his first training session.

Reports have emerged that Messi wants Barca to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain although the Catalans could find it difficult to do so unless they offload players, having already spent big on Griezmann. 

Suarez and Messi are not present in Asia due to their Copa America commitments for Uruguay and Argentina respectively, but only the former has been in touch with him so far.

“The truth has been it started badly because they nutmegged me twice in my first rondo. Luckily I have learned the lesson,” Griezmann said at a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with Chelsea.

“Messi has not called me yet, but Suarez did. He congratulated me and welcomed me.

“The group has welcomed me and I am happy to share a dressing room with them. Hopefully I can help in the best way possible.”

Antoine Griezmann Barcelona 2019

Atletico challenged the legitimacy of Griezmann’s transfer to Barcelona, alleging the La Liga champions should have to pay the €200m (£180m/$224m) release clause that was still active when they began discussions.

Griezmann would not be drawn on his former club’s complaint and stated his focus was on adapting to his new team.

“I did everything as well as possible with respect to Diego Simeone, my former team-mates and Atletico Madrid to leave on good terms,” he said.

“It’s an issue for them. I am calm and all that matters has been starting well with Barcelona, which has been the most important thing.

“I heard about it [the complaint]. It’s a club where I gave my all. I’m very calm. The only thing that matters to me right now has been understanding the coach’s tactics, getting on with my team-mates and enjoying football.”

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On Simeone, he added: “Our relationship was more than a coach and a soccer professional, we’re like family. I got on very well with him.

“He was important for what I did on the pitch and for my private life. I owe him a lot and I love him a lot. Our relationship will carry on, even after retirement.”


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