If there’s one word I could use to describe the relationship between Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona, it’s awkward. The forward hasn’t been the superstar the club wanted, but he also hasn’t been bad. His style of play hasn’t fit into the Barca puzzle perfectly, and that’s led to some reporting about some awkward relationship problems between him and Lionel Messi.
That all led to some comments from Griezmann this week after spending some time with his International team. He chatted about feeling more free and less tense with his international squad than with Barcelona.
“In France I have earned respect,” said Griezmann. “Those who know about football know what I do well in all the places I go. In the national team all the balls go through me, I feel freer, like with Atletico Madrid.
“At Barcelona it was hard because of my first games and sometimes the criticism was exaggerated. In 2021 however, I think that it’s going better.
“I feel freer than at Barca, whether it be to ask for a ball or finish in the box. When it comes to defending, I move according to the team’s needs, sometimes I defend like a defensive midfielder, sometimes as a full back. From the moment I’m free in attack I feel good. When they want me to work as a winger, I don’t have the dribble or pace to take people on one on one, and I’m not a target man either.”
Griezmann | Source
I will say this, I think most players probably feel freer with their international squads than with their clubs. The only player who may disagree with that is one Lionel Messi.