Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann reportedly clashed with each other in Barcelona training a day after they were held to a goalless draw by Sevilla. The bust-up went to such an extent that coach Quique Setien had to intervene and prevent the matter from escalating any further. The goalless draw against Seville has dropped Barcelona to second in the La Liga 2019-20 points table behind Real Madrid, who beat Real Sociedad 2-1 on Sunday. Both Real and Barcelona are on 65 points but Real lead the standings due to a better head-to-head record against Blaugrana side. Fans Can ‘Attend’ Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Clash in La Liga 2019–20 Through Catalan Club’s New Campaign.
According to a report from The Sun, Messi and Griezmann clashed in the training session and were only separated after Setien and other members of the coaching staff intervened and stopped them. The report further stated that the matter "escalated to levels that cannot go unnoticed". Spanish outlet Diario Gol mentioned that perhaps the clash happened on the backdrop of the Barcelona vs Leganes game where Messi reportedly did not pass to Griezmann even once throughout the entire 90 minutes. Lionel Messi Avoids Red Card After Pushing Diego Carlos During Sevilla vs Barcelona, Leaves Fans Baffled (Watch Video).
Griezmann joined from Atletico Madrid last summer and has endured a difficult time at Camp Nou with only eight league goals in 29 appearances for the club in his debut season. The World Cup-winning Frenchman was reported to have differences with Messi, who wanted Neymar to rejoin him at Camp Nou, right from the start. But things went out of hands at the training session where both clashed forcing Setien to intervene and calm things down between his forwards.
Messi wanted the club to sign Neymar this summer and attempts were even made to bring the Brazilian back to Barcelona but Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar’s current club, rejected all offers and also stated that the player was not for sale despite Neymar publicly expressing his desire to join Messi at Barcelona. Instead, Barcelona signed Griezmann for €120 million from Atletico leaving Messi unimpressed.
Meanwhile, Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao in their next La Liga match and will have to win to reclaim the top spot for Real Madrid. But Barcelona are winless in their last three meetings with Bilbao. They have drawn two and lost their last league meeting earlier this season in the reverse fixture. Bilbao are currently placed ninth in the standings and are on a five-match unbeaten run.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 22, 2020 09:22 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).