A former adviser to Griezmann, Eric Olhats, last week claimed that Messi had effectively given the World Cup winner the cold shoulder since his €120 million move from Atletico Madrid, accusing the star number 10 of having a “deplorable attitude” and acting like “an emperor.”
Griezmann’s uncle expressed similar sentiments in a recent documentary, suggesting Messi had made life difficult for the French ace.
But appearing on TV show Universo Valdano, Griezmann himself has attempted to set the record straight on his time at Barcelona and the relationship with six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.
“I spoke with Leo when I arrived,” the 29-year-old said, Marca reported.
“He told me that when I turned down the first chance to go [to Barcelona in 2018], he was screwed because he had asked for it publicly. But he told me he was with me and I notice it every day.”
Since arriving at the Nou Camp, Griezmann has struggled to live up to expectations – although his tenure so far has coincided with a disastrous period for the Catalans.
Griezmann has 17 goals and five assists to his name in 57 appearances in Barcelona colors, and said he accepted that people would demand more from him after such an impressive five years at Atletico.
“I accept it because I know that we are not seeing the best Griezmann,” he said.
“But I understand that every time something else comes out I am the first one to be [criticized].
“In a year and a half, I have had three coaches [at Barcelona]. That’s not easy. I need time to adapt to my colleagues and they to me. And on top of that there are formation changes.
“In addition, the candidates for the presidency also talk about me. I don’t think it’s the best thing for me when they talk about whether I’m a good signing or not.”
The recent comments by former members of the Griezmann entourage irked Messi when he was asked about them on returning from long-haul international duty with Argentina last week.
The 33-year-old snapped at reporters, saying he was “tired” of being blamed for all of Barcelona’s problems.
However, those problems only intensified after another lackluster showing in the 1-0 defeat at Atletico at the weekend.
In his TV appearance, Griezmann distanced himself from both his uncle and former adviser Olhats – who has since backtracked somewhat on his comments.
“I stopped having any relationship with [Olhats] from the day I got married,” Griezmann said. “I invited him to the wedding day, and he didn’t come. That’s why I stopped having any relationship with him.
“My uncle doesn’t know how football works. And in the end, the journalist ended up getting the statement out of him. I told Leo that I never speak to them, in fact I don’t even have my uncle’s phone number.”
Griezmann is in the Barcelona squad to face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League game in Ukraine on Tuesday, although Messi has been rested and remains in Spain.
Barcelona’s Champions League form has thus far been a bright spot in an otherwise dour start to the season, with the Catalans topping their group on three wins from three.
Victory in Kiev would book a spot in the knockout stages for Ronald Koeman’s men with two games to spare.