Lionel Messi’s attitude towards Barcelona team-mate Antoine Griezmann has been “deplorable”, claims the French forward’s former advisor Eric Olhats, with an Argentine superstar accused of being a bad influence off the pitch at Camp Nou.
A World Cup-winning striker was added to the talent pool in Catalunya during the summer of 2019.
With Barca having been heavily linked with Griezmann for some time, a long-running saga was finally brought to a close when a big-money deal was pushed through with Atletico Madrid.
The France international has struggled to make the desired impact with the Blaugrana, but Olhats says that is not down to a lack of effort from the 29-year-old.
For him, certain high-profile figures have made life more difficult for Griezmann than it needed to be, with Messi – who pushed for a move away from Barca in the last transfer window – considered to hold too much power at the club.
Olhats told France Football: “Antoine arrived in a struggling club where Messi has a view on everything.
“He’s at the same time emperor and monarch, and he didn’t see Antoine’s arrival with a good eye.
“His attitude has been deplorable, he made him feel that. I’ve always heard Antoine say there’s no problem with Messi, but never the other way around.
“In my eyes, Messi said he wanted to leave to see what role he still had as a decision-making player, regarding the players who arrived and those who left, but he eventually stayed. Classic Messi! As good on the pitch as he is bad off it.
“Barcelona has been suffering for a while. There was a cancer in that club, and it obviously leaves some marks.”
Griezmann managed only 15 goals for Barcelona in his debut campaign, and has only two to his name this term.
Questions are once again being asked of his long-term future, but Olharts says struggles for consistency are down to issues outside of the Frenchman’s control.
He added: “It’s the club that’s sick, not him.
“Last year, when Antoine arrived, Messi didn’t talk to him, didn’t pass him the ball. He created a real trauma for a more than negative adaptation.
“That clearly left its mark. It was clear and visible. Add to that the president stepping down, the club conceding eight against Bayern and three different managers, the conditions aren’t good.”
While conceding that Griezmann has found the going tough at Camp Nou, Olharts claims to be “very confident” that a seasoned performer will turn things around and prove his worth to those who continue to write him off.