A former Camp Nou team-mate of two “spectacular” forwards claims that if both men start shooting on all cylinders, unwanted rumors will stop.
Ivan Rakitic has denied reports that in Barcelona Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann do not get along, with the former midfielder of Blaugrana expecting unwelcome rumors to end once two “spectacular” forwards find top form.
Ever since World Cup champion Griezmann completed a big-money move in the summer of 2019, questions have been raised about the working relationship between the Argentine and French superstars.
It was expected that Griezmann would succeed, but the 29-year-old failed to find a spark at Barca and faced charges of trying to work his way into the good books of Messi.
His actions were branded “deplorable” by the six-time Ballon d’Or, with the South American icon considered by some to have done little to help his colleague’s cause.
Rakitic, however, says that during his time at Camp Nou, he saw no sign of tension, with the Croatian playmaker telling El Pelotazo: “What I saw was that they got along very well.” I got along with Antoine and Leo marvellously. The two of them drink together and spend a lot of time in the dressing room together.
If they both begin to score goals, there will be no more conversation that’s the need and hope of a great team like Barcelona. But I’m not concerned because they are two spectacular guys. I wish all of them the best.’
After six years, Rakitic left Barca during the summer, and is now back on the books in Seville. At 32 years of age, he acknowledges that to uphold the expectations that have been set over the course of a distinguished career to date, he has to tweak his game slightly.
He added: “I ‘m going to have to be judged in the field by what I do.” It’s natural, I need [to adapt] a little time. Like Seville, Barcelona is not the same. They’re playing differently. We’re incredibly competitive, and you still want to play.
“I feel like a baby. I feel really healthy, and so far, muscle injuries have not touched me. I take care of myself, and it’s my hope to get the best out of myself.
You have to find the flow, understand and make sure your team-mates understand you. We’re getting better every day and every week. The last two weeks, particularly, have been important to me.