Antoine Griezmann’s former agent and mentor gave a scathing review of Lionel Messi and his ‘deplorable’ influence at Barcelona.
Griezmann’s old advisor, Eric Olhats, claims Messi is both the ‘emperor and monarch’ of Barcelona and responsible for a ‘regime of terror’ that has befallen on the club.
He also suggested the Argentine’s attempt to leave Camp Nou over the summer was nothing more than a way to learn the extent of the power he still commands.
“Antoine arrived in a struggling club where Messi has a view on everything,” Olhats told France Football.
“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.
🎙Eric Olhats [ex – agent]: Griezmann 🇫🇷 arrived at a club with serious problems where Messi 🇦🇷 controls everything. He is both emperor and monarch and did not see Antoine's arrival with good eyes. It is the regime of terror. Either you are with him, or you are against him. #FCB pic.twitter.com/N19PcD3n1K
— RouteOneFootball (@Route1futbol) November 10, 2020
“I’ve always heard Antoine say there’s no problem with Messi, but never the other way around. It is the regime of terror. Either you are with him or you are against him.
“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, meanwhile, has struggled to live up to expectations since his €120m arrival from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019.
The 29-year-old forward has just 17 goals and five assists to his name in 57 appearances for Barcelona. There were also rumors last season that he didn’t get along with Messi – which they both denied.
“It’s the club that’s sick, not him,” said Olhats, who vacated his role as Griezmann’s advisor in 2017 to work as a scout.
“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.”
Griezmann has, however, won favor under Ronald Koeman this season by starting regularly in the new manager’s line-up. Although he’s only been able to supply two goals and an assist in nine appearances across all competitions.