Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué has denied rumours of a rift between Camp Nou superstar Lionel Messi and €120m summer signing Antoine Griezmann, insisting that the relationship between the two forwards is perfectly fine.
Griezmann perhaps inadvertently fuelled speculation earlier this season when he admitted that early communication with Messi hadn’t been easy because neither player is a big talker.
More recently, some fans on social media have come up with an unsubstantiated theory that Messi and Luis Suarez have been actively ignoring their new teammate on the pitch.
But, during an appearance on Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Piqué has rubbished claims of any kind of falling out or dislike.
“Here, we magnify everything very much,” Piqué commented.
“Leo and Grizi get along, the same as Leo and [Ousmane] Dembélé get along, or Leo with Pedro or [David] Villa. It's good,” he added.
Piqué also acknowledged the extremely close personal friendship between Suarez and Messi, but explained it doesn’t make their relationships with anyone else worse.
“Luis [and Messi] are almost like brothers,” he said. “Just because he doesn't get along [with Griezmann] like he does with Luis doesn't mean they get along badly.”
Speaking on the rumours last month, Messi himself insisted, “We have no problem with Griezmann.”
“It may seem easy from the outside but for any player who doesn't know Barça’s philosophy as a child, coming from outside is very difficult,” the reigning Best FIFA Men’s Player said.
“I remember statements I made that he was one of the best and the best are welcome, I never had any problem with him coming, otherwise, so [the rift] is a lie.”